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Minoan expects to hit profit forecasts

SHARES in Minoan Group have surged by nearly 10% after the travel firm said its profits and turnover for the year to October 31 will meet market expectations when its accounts are published in March.

The rise came as the Glasgow-based firm updated the City with positive progress with its plans to build a five-star resort on Crete.

Minoan, which owns the King World, John Semple and Stewart travel agencies, expects operating profits from its continuing travel business will come in at more than £600,000, with audited figures showing gross travel revenues will be booked at about £45 million.

The AIM-listed group, led by managing director Duncan Wilson, said its "robust" performance came as it slowed its acquisition strategy to allow new businesses to be integrated.

It is now looking to kick-start its acquisition programme after agreeing a new loan facility in October.

Minoan sustained an exceptional cost of more than £150,000 linked partly to the rebranding, reorganisation and rationalisation of its travel branch network over the period, as well as a £104,000 cost linked to closing its branch and operations in Canada.

The company said it expects the performance of its revamped travel business to improve significantly, which will be reflected in its operating profits for the current financial year.

Meanwhile, Minoan confirmed it expects to submit a revised Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEE) on its plans to build a resort on the coastal land it owns on Crete soon, after the project was assessed under Article 24 of amended fast track planning laws.

Christopher Egleton, chairman of Minoan said: "With the travel business performing well and the submission of the SEA now imminent, the group can start to implement the next phase of its strategy to capitalise on the positive developments for its business in both Greece and in the UK."

Shares in Minoan closed up 0.88p or 9.46% at 10.12p.

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