Stockholm (IFN) Swedish online travel company Ticket Travel Group's net profit rose to SEK13.1 million in the first quarter, from SEK6.2 million in the same period the previous year, due to increased demand for vacation trips, the company said on Tuesday.
Icelandic investment firm Fons, which is contolled by Icelandic business man Palmi Haraldsson, is the largest shareholder in Ticket Travel, with a 28% stake.
Sales for the three month period ended March 31 amounted to SEK962.4 million, up 11% from SEK867.9 million in the year-ago period.
Operating profit for the quarter rose to SEK17 million, more than doubling from SEK8.3 million reported for the same three months the year before.
In its future outlook, Ticket said it intends to investigate growth opportunities in new markets as well as new customers and client segments.
The market prospects for 2006 are good, it said.
The company said its profitability target is to have an annual average operating margin of at least 7% over a three-year period.
Ticket doesn't expect natural disasters, such as the Tsunami in Southeast Asia, or terrorist attacks such as those seen in the past year, to affect travel in the long-term. It also said the spreading of the Bird Flu in Sweden as well as Europe isn't expected to affect total travel.
However, it said the strong sales of travel to summer destinations this year, compared with last year, means there are less trips left to sell in the second quarter compared with the year-ago period.
The company said sales are subject to seasonal variations, with the first quarter usually its strongest and the last quarter of the year its weakest.
The company said there are indications that travel offerings are increasing, thanks to an increased number of direct flights to Europe, as well as an increase in internet sales.
Sources: Dow Jones Newswires; Vidskiptabladid
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