Webjet forecasts 8% rise in Q3 pre-tax profit

Webjet forecasts 8% rise in Q3 pre-tax profit

Online travel broker Webjet (ASX:WEB) has revealed it is expecting an 8% increase in pre-tax profit for the third quarter.

The company is projecting profit before tax of $3.9 million for the quarter, with Australian and New Zealand sales growing 14% year-on-year during the period.

Webjet managing director John Guscic said these operations had performed strongly even in a difficult discretionary leisure consumer market.

The company's American operations also eked out a small profit in the month of March, he said.

But due to expenses setting up its new Asian operations in Hong Kong and Singapore, the company expects a pre-tax loss of $200,000 for its overseas business.

Guscic said the company's new hotel booking project has commenced on schedule, and early results have been encouraging. The underlying platform is now being rolled out to the US, Hong Kong and Singapore.

But the company plans to spend all the profit from the sales platform on marketing of the service for the rest of the calendar year.

The company has maintained its guidance of $10.5 million in post-tax profit for FY11.

Managing director David Clarke warned of negative economic indicators including contracting discretionary spending and the impact of the floods and Japanese earthquake on buying patterns, but said the strong Australian dollar was helping to mitigate the effect of these factors to some extent.

WEB shares fell 0.49% during Wednesday's trading to $2.050.

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Tags consumer confidenceWebjetGuidanceDavid ClarkeASX:WEB

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