Travelzest says trading for this year is in line with expectations, putting the travel group in a strong position for 2008.


In a trading update prior to the end of its financial year on October 31, chief executive Chris Mottershead said the group had established itself as a prominent online specialist travel company and said the group had enjoyed strong performances from businesses acquired in 2006.


The outlook for next year remains positive for the group, which owns a portfolio of travel businesses, Mottershead added.


During the year the group’s online agency business Holiday Express launched website flight.co.uk to provide flights for sister site holiday.co.uk and for the group’s tour operators. The sites are being further developed and are expected to make a “positive contribution” to the group in 2009.


Mottershead said: “We have seen strong performances from the businesses we acquired in 2006 and combined with the improvements we expect to come from the new websites, holiday.co.uk and flight.co.uk, and the additional profits to be generated by the 2007 acquisitions, we are well positioned for long-term sustainable performance and growth.”


But acquisitions made this year – it bought Tapestry Collection, Wow House, Captivating Cuba and JMB Travel – will have a negative impact on figures due to the seasonality of Captivating Cuba’s profits. Tapesty Holidays, however, will provide a positive contribution. All are expected to make a positive contribution in 2008.


Travelzest’s tour operators – including Best of Morocco, Peng Travel and VFB Holidays – have all had a solid year.


But Far East specialist Faraway Holidays, launched in August 2006, has had a challenging year spent establishing itself in the online Far East market. The business has now been refocused on four destinations, which has led to increased sales and margins. The group said it “bodes well for an improved performance in 2008”.


Meanwhile, new contracts have recently been signed which will lead to further growth for the group’s air fare analysts business Fair’s Fare next year.