Ebookers recovering from Euro 2004

Online travel agency ebookers showed signs it had recovered from the impact of Euro 2004 today after reporting an “encouraging” pick-up in sales.

Online travel agency ebookers showed signs it had recovered from the impact of Euro 2004 today after reporting an “encouraging” pick-up in sales.

Ebookers, which makes most of its money from selling trips to Australia and the US, said the long and mid-haul sector suffered in June as people deferred long and mid-haul trips during the football championships.

Like-for-like sales still increased by 30% during the three months to June 30, as higher sales in the online business offset a poorer performance by the offline division.

Finance director Michael Healy said trading in June had been slow as many people chose to stay at home and watch matches on the television. He added: “It was almost like switching the lights back on when July came round.”

Losses narrowed to £6.4m (€9.5m) in the three months to June 30, against a deficit of £6.9m (€10.2m) last time.

Ebookers warned in July that full-year profits would be hit by the weak sales in June but it added today that since the end of June trading had been “encouraging” and in line with expectations.

It also said it was well-positioned to benefit from the recovery of the long-haul sector, which was confirmed by airports operating group BAA’s recent traffic statistics.

These showed that the long-haul sector had returned to pre-September 11, 2001 levels for the first time.

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