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Virgin Travel in the red

Virgin Travel, the airline and holidays group run by Richard Branson, slid into the red last year, according to reports filed at Companies House. Figures for the year to October 1994 show that the company made a loss of pounds 2.98m on sales of pounds 503m. This compares with a modest pounds 457,000 profit in 1993.

Virgin said yesterday that last year's loss was due to exceptional expenses such as the purchase of new aircraft and the cost of setting up new long- haul routes such as Hong Kong to San Francisco. Virgin Travel will bounce back to profits of pounds 30m-pounds 40m when figures for 1995 are filed in 10 weeks time, the company said.