By
Paul Nelson

CLUB
Med is confident of hitting an operating profit of £70 million by 2005 despite
disastrous full-year results.

The
French all-inclusive operator blamed the war in Iraq, which had a “very
significant” effect on bookings during the critical January to March
booking period, the Sars virus and continued political uncertainty for its
pre-tax loss of £66.1 million for the 12 months to October.

The
loss is £22.6 million worse than 2002’s £43.5 million deficit, although it
included a number of one-off costs, including £18.9 million for the
restructuring of its Club Med World and Club Med Gym divisions and £10.5
million from the closure of its lower quality villages.

The
company is confident of a recovery next year. Reservations are already up 1.7%
with improving booking figures to Asia showing the area is recovering following
the Bali bomb in October 2002. It aims to make an operating profit of £70
million in the next two to three years.

The operating loss of £4.2 million for 2003 is more
than double the £2 million figure of the previous 12 months.