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Lastminute booms on next-month bookings

Shares nip higher… then sag
Written by Ron Coates, Contributor on

Shares nip higher… then sag

Lastminute says sales are booming beyond its expectations and that it is taking "strong" forward orders.

The company's shares nipped up by almost 10 per cent, to 228p, driven by speculation yesterday ahead of Lastminute's trading statement and meeting with analysts today. The share euphoria is wearing off this afternoon, with a 10p drop from the high.

Lastminute said that its forward orders were strong and that TTV (total transaction value) would be well ahead of the £170m it had previously predicted. However, bookings by departure are only slightly ahead of the £160m predicted.

And, as the company takes its administration costs as they occur and only counts its revenue as the passengers take off, it will show a pre-tax loss for the quarter.

For the accountants, that is the downside of people using Lastminute for next month or the month after. The company statement said that "this position will correct itself during the remainder of the year as the order bank unwinds."

Most sales are for flights only and analysts are expecting full-year profits of around £26m for the company.

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