Travel result lifts Hogg Robinson

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Hogg Robinson cheered worried shareholders with results that proved better than the City's gloomy predictions and the announcement of an acquisition for its travel company.

The company's profits excluding exceptional items for the year ending 31 March 1995 were pounds 17.4m, up eight per cent from last year's profits of pounds 16.07m.

The best performing division was business travel, which saw a 50 per cent increase in profits after accounts were won from large clients including Unilever, Siemens and Credit Suisse First Boston.

The City's expectations of poor performance from the financial services and transport divisions were fulfilled. The IFA business, boosted last year by the pounds 13m acquisition of Bain Hogg from Inchcape, had a disappointing year, said Brian Perry, chairman.

Profits increased from pounds 5.6m to pounds 6m, lower than expected. Mr Perry blamed the lack of a feel-good factor for the public's reluctance to invest in financial services.

The transport division had proved disappointing, partly because of problems connected to the loss of a key contract with the Ministry of Defence.

The pounds 58m acquisition of Bennett Travel Group follows the decision by its joint-owner Volvo to divest its non-core holdings. The company is part of the Business Travel International, the global travel group chaired by Mr Perry.

It has operations in Sweden, Norway and Denmark and accounts for more than 15 per cent of all business reservations in the Nordic region.

The purchase price will be funded by issuing 17 million new ordinary shares to raise pounds 25.4m, pounds 20m of new borrowings, and the balance out of company funds.