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Jasons tracking well

Jasons tracking well

Jasons Travel Media Limited has announced its first half-year report as an NZX listed company following its listing on 30 June 2005 after raising $3.6m through the issue of 7.2m shares.

"It gives me great pleasure to let you know that our first half has tracked to budget on all key indicators and at this stage, we expect to be within 5% of our Prospectus forecast of $542,000 (after tax) for the full year to March 2006", said Geoff Burns, Chairman of Jasons.

"We will pay a fully imputed maiden interim dividend of 1.5 cents per share in late January, half of the total 2006 dividend proposed in the Prospectus", Mr. Burns commented.

"Our business is slightly different to most in that, typically, we only invoice around one third of our annual revenue in the first half. This year is no different with half-year sales at $3.7m or 31% of annual budget. This creates a normal (for us) modest loss in the first half."

Jasons' largest publications are issued in the second half of the financial year, so revenue flowing from contracted advertising in those publications will have a strong impact on the final result for the year. At the end of September, the company already had on hand contracts for forward sales totalling $6.2m for the second six months.

"Changes to Jasons' structure as a result of the IPO, together with the purchase of Christchurch brochure distribution business, and purchase and change of balance date for Jasons Australia, make it difficult to provide a meaningful comparison against results for the comparative half year" said Mr Burns.

Of note in the first half result is the interest bill,$344,000, which includes $242,000 of non-recurring expenditure. The funds raised in the IPO allowed the repayment of significant shareholder and third party loans. The removal of those loans and their attendant cost means that interest cost in the first half would have been approximately $127,000 if the changes had happened on 1 April rather than when the IPO funds were received on 30 June.

Capital expenditure of $466,000 in the first half seems high in relation to the Prospectus full year forecast of $618,000 but it should be noted this is seasonal. The latest projection is that capex for the year will be slightly above this forecast.

"Bank facilities are shown as fully drawn at 30 September but this too, is normal for our business at this time of the year, said Mr Burns. "Billings in the second half will see significant seasonal reduction in the use of our banking facility".

The company is the leading provider of travel and tourism information in New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific Islands. Consumer demand for all publications and the web site Jasons Travel ChannelTM is strong. In early July, Jasons launched a completely restructured version of The re-design was based on significant user feedback for improvement to ensure that Jasons Travel Channel(TM) remains at the forefront of most-used travel websites in this part of the world.

Mr Burns commented further that "Since listing, many new commercial opportunities have been presented to Jasons. The company has a robust process of analysis and decision-making around those opportunities. We do not feel compelled to make any acquisitions as our opportunities for organic growth are good. We will acquire if we identify the right opportunity."

"Based on our 38 years in the media business, Jasons is performing strongly and the directors believe that our company is well positioned to continue to grow for the benefit of all stakeholders. We remain confident in long-term growth prospects for Jasons Travel Media Ltd and look forward to your continued support."

Geoff Burns
25 November 2005

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