Sunny outlook for travel group

Kuoni's administrative centre in Zurich Keystone

Switzerland's largest travel firm, Kuoni, has posted a 12.5 per cent increase in first half net profit to SFr31.6 million ($18.5 million). Sales also rose 23 per cent to SFr1.75 billion.

This content was published on August 16, 2000 - 10:49

The company's first-half figures were underpinned by a string of acquisitions as well as internal growth and were broadly in line with market expectations.

European holiday companies typically see most of their income coming through in the second half of the year, and Kuoni is no exception. The company expects sales for the year as a whole to increase to SFr4 billion, with earnings forecast to rise by 10 per cent.

In regional terms, Britain and North America were the strongest contributors to sales with SFr527 million, up from SFr359 million a year earlier. In Europe, however, business was slow in several major markets.

Last year Kuoni was hit by a SFr26.8 million exceptional charge for a failed merger with Britain's First Choice Holidays.

The Kuoni group reported on Monday that it had successfully completed the acquisition of the United States company T PRO.

Kuoni said that as a result of the takeover it had gained a firm foothold in the fast growing US market for incoming business, which provides on site services at holiday destinations.

Kuoni, founded in 1906, is the market leader in the Swiss travel sector. It offers a wide range of travel services, including individual travel, catalogue travel, special expeditions, cruises and tours, through its worldwide chain of travel agencies and tourist offices.

The group also owns hotels in the Caribbean and holds a majority interest in the Swiss charter airline "Edelweiss Air".

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