Flight Centre reaffirms record profit guidance

Travel group still expects to increase full-year profit before tax despite facing $11m fine in court case over price-fixing.

Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT) has been fined $11 million as a result of a Federal Court ruling against it in a price-fixing case but still expects to post a record profit in line with guidance.

Flight Centre intends to appeal the judgement and may appeal the penalties imposed after the court found it induced three airlines into price fixing.

The firm said it will take up the penalties in its full-year 2014 accounts, released in August, but believes any appeals are likely to be heard in fiscal 2015.

The travel group continues to expect a full-year 2014 profit before tax between $370 million and $385m, an increase of 8% to 12% on the record profit before tax it posted in fiscal 2013.

The group's managing director Graham Turner said the outcome of the case has not created a need for fundamental changes in the business.

The group made changes after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launched its initial investigation in 2009, he said.

"While we are comfortable that we comply with the law, we consider it appropriate to test the decision at an appeal," Mr Turner said.

"This will clarify our position and rights as an agent, particularly in light of the contrasting ruling that was delivered recently in a similar Federal Court case involving the ACCC, ANZ Bank and its mortgage brokers."

Flight Centre said it will abide by the court's decision and pay part of the ACCC's legal expenses.

"The business continues to trade solidly and we are seeing similar trends to the patterns reported at the half year," Mr Turner said.

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