MyTravel cuts losses but warns on trading
Saturday 29 May 2004
Mytravel, the holiday company struggling to manage its debts after a disastrous over-expansion plan, yesterday said its losses had narrowed, but said trading conditions in the UK market remained tough.
Peter McHugh, the chief executive of the company formerly known as Airtours, said margins were still under pressure at the group, particularly in the UK, where customers are still holding back on booking their holidays.
But after losses of £913m last year, the MyTravel said improvements were underway and it would return to profit in 2005. Losses for the six months to the end of March came in at £199m, compared with £617m in the same period last year, as bookings picked up in North America and northern Europe.
MyTravel's problems during the global downturn in tourism were exacerbated by its decision to increase capacity, choosing to buy aircraft, cruise ships and hotels in an attempt to take market share. But when demand plunged as economic uncertainty prevailed, MyTravel was left with high fixed costs and unsold holidays.
After refinancing about £1.3bn of debt and axing 2,000 jobs, cost-cutting is still paramount to the company. Mr McHugh said MyTravel would reduce the amount of guaranteed accommodation it books up in advance. It is also selling another of its aircraft this year. Four cruise ships are also being sold off as it plans to exit its cruise-line operations.
While there are signs of some improvement in the business, debts rose to £877m from £672.6m at 30 September. Its balance sheet is in need of further restructuring and the company reiterated its warning that this could result in a "very significant dilution of the interest of shareholders".
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Details emerge of two young Iranians using stolen passports in search for a better life
Three-quarters of Britons are saying it wrong - the top ten most common mispronunciations
Oscar Pistorius trial: Athlete's friend asked him if 'he was f***ing mad' after shooting through sunroof
Oscar Pistorius trial: Forensic analyst says athlete 'was not wearing prosthetic legs' when he shot Reeva Steenkamp through locked door
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Three-quarters of Britons are saying it wrong - the top ten most common mispronunciations
- 2 Boy George: Bad karma
- 3 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 4 First Kiss video: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 5 Ian Wright breaks down in ITV documentary charting his rise to Arsenal and England striker
iJobs Money & Business
£57000 - £77000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Top 10 Specialist...
£350 - £450 per day: Harrington Starr: Harrington Starr are currently working ...
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Application Support - FIX protoco...
£45000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Application Support - OMS/EMS, FI...