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Jasons Travel predicts smaller FY profit

Jasons Travel predicts smaller FY profit, plans to expand across the Tasman

By Paul McBeth

Dec. 11 (BusinessWire) – Jasons Travel Media Ltd., the travel and accommodation guide publisher formerly run by Communications Minister Steven Joyce, expects to post a smaller profit this year as it looks to expand its Australian business.

The company forecasts profit before tax to be about $900,000 in the year ended March 31 2010, compared to $1.2 million a year earlier, according to a statement published on the NZX. Jasons is looking to buy or develop its Australian business, and the cost of this investigation will be “borne in the current financial year.”

“Considerable activity has taken place in the investigation and evaluation of opportunities to acquire or develop complementary businesses to build on those we have operated since 1983 in Australia,” the company said. “We have also incurred costs to establish a number of web developers in-house, so we are less reliant on outside consultants.”

The publisher posted a first-half profit of $1.2 million, or 6.2 cents per share, from $1.4 million, or 7.1 cents a share, a year earlier, amid a downturn in tourism. International visitors eschewed travelling to New Zealand as the global financial crisis sapped their available funds for long-haul travel, while a surging New Zealand dollar cut the strength of their spending power.

Chairman Geoff Burns said revenue from the company’s “core print and web products and our tourism brochure distribution” had remained strong, though its Australasian regional and city visitor guides were weaker. Revenue gained 3.8% to $8.5 million.

“Although we have experienced on that specific group of visitor guides, we have retained our spend on them to ensure they retain market credibility and are well positioned for future growth,” he said.

The shares, which trade infrequently, last traded at 55 cents in September on the NZX, and have slumped 21% in the past six months.


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