Pre-tax profits rocket 47% at First Choice


Strong growth is continuing to be achieved by holiday group First Choice, which owns the Falcon and JWT businesses in Ireland.

Pre-tax profits rose 47 per cent to £69 million sterling (#114 million) on turnover up 28 per cent at £1.9 billion sterling, partly due to acquisitions aimed at transforming the group into a leading European leisure travel business.

Excluding acquisitions, profits rose 17 per cent on turnover up 14 per cent.

In Ireland, Falcon and JWT produced "another strong set of results, despite very different trading conditions experienced between the North and the South due to the weakness of the euro".

"A conservative approach to capacity for the coming year should maintain profitability in 2001," First Choice directors said of the outlook for the group's operations in Ireland.

Irish sales for winter 2000 holidays are up by around 5 per cent on last year with sales accelerating in the last four weeks.

Sales for summer 2001 are currently in line with last year, with sales in the last four weeks running at much higher rates than last year.