Luxury travel group Western & Oriental is to spend £30 million on its latest acquisition spree.


The group, which has already acquired seven travel firms since listing on AIM in March 2006, including Made to Measure Holidays and Tropical Locations plans to raise £14.4 million from two share placings, with the remainder of its war chest coming from paper shares.


Group managing director Ian Neale said Western & Oriental had already begun talks with six “likeminded” companies, which if acquired would take the group’s annualised sales to over £70 million. With other acquisitions on the cards, Neale claimed the group was on target to meet its target of £200 million annualised sales by “late 2008 or early 2009”.


He also said the move would lead to more opportunities for agents, with more product and educational visits on offer.


Neale was speaking after the company posted its interim results for the six months ended 31 March 2007. Turnover for the period quadrupled from £4 million to £16.4 million compared to the previous six months while the integration of the recently acquired businesses helped grow annualised sales by £24.3 million to £32.5 million.


Meanwhile Neale said the overall loss of £0.5 million over the period, down from £0.7 million in the first half of the financial year, was “in line with management expectations”.