Kuoni travel reports loss on unrest, shares plunge

GMT 16:18 2014 Thursday ,21 August

Arab Today, arab today Kuoni travel reports loss on unrest, shares plunge

Kuoni travel agency in Hong Kong
Geneva - AFP

Shares in Switzerland-based global travel group Kuoni plunged on Thursday after the company posted weak results for the first half of 2014, blaming unrest in many parts of the world.
For the first half of the year, Kuoni posted a net loss of 14 million Swiss francs ($15.3 million, 11.6 million euros), a big improvement from the 74.3 million-franc-loss it reported a year earlier.
But while the net loss was less than half of the 26.8 million loss which analysts polled by the AWP financial news agency had expected, the travel group's revenue and operating income for the six-month period disappointed.
Company chief Peter Meier blamed unrest in many traditional tourist destinations.
"With all the negative geopolitical developments in Egypt, Kenya, Thailand, and the Ukraine, the operating environment has been challenging," he said in the earnings statement.
"We expect it to remain so for the rest of this year," he said, adding that currency trends in Japan, India, Indonesia, Australia, Russia and Scandinavia had also had "a negative effect on consumer sentiment."
From January to June, the company posted income of 2.48 billion francs -- down six percent from the equivalent figure last year and below the 2.55 billion francs anticipated by analysts.
The company also posted a loss, before interest and tax (Ebit), of 17.1 million francs -- an improvement over the 18-million franc adjusted loss suffered during the first half of 2013.
However, not counting the 10.1 million francs it pulled in on the sale of a Zurich property, the Ebit result showed a decline since last year and was far worse than the 16.3-million loss expected by analysts.
The Vontobel analysis firm voiced deep disappointment at the operating loss and emphasised that the travel firm had shown negative organic turnover growth (-1.0 percent) for the first time since 2009.
Despite all its difficulties, Kuoni said it expected its full-year operating income to tick in at between 85 and 95 million francs, and forecast that its full-year net result would be similar to the 69.2 million francs it raked in 2013.
Following the announcement, Kuoni shares plunged 9.2 percent to 286 francs in late-morning trading as the Swiss stock exchange's SPI index rose 0.5 percent.


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