Travel agent travels well
Flight Centre has raised its full-year earnings guidance for the second time in two months, putting it on track to another record profit.
Shares in Flight Centre, Australia's biggest travel agency, rose 2 per cent to $40.14 on Wednesday after it told the market a strong end to the year had meant pre-tax profit was likely to be at the top end or slightly above previous guidance.
Unaudited figures indicated that Flight Centre would post an underlying pre-tax profit of between $338 million and $342 million for the year to June — a 16 per cent to 18 per cent rise on 2011-12.
Flight Centre said actual pre-tax profit was expected to exceed the underlying number because it was likely to book an extra $6 million from a property portfolio.
The company initially aimed for underlying annual pre-tax profit of $305 million to $315 million in 2012-13, but raised its guidance in May to between $325 million and $340 million.
Managing director Graham Turner said the "positive momentum" had continued in the last two months of the financial year, which would result in all of its businesses across 10 countries recording pre-tax profits for the third year in a row.
Australia, Britain and the US generated about 80 per cent of sales, and strong leisure travel underpinned Flight Centre's performance in Britain.