Virgin Holidays is planning to launch Virgin Beds – a bed bank specialising in Caribbean stock in August next year.

Sales and operations director Stewart Baird said the company had decided to stay out of the short haul bed bank market.

“Short haul is too overcrowded at the moment and there is an opportunity for accommodation-only in the long haul market,” he said.

Meanwhile, Virgin Holidays managing director Amanda Wills said cruise sales had doubled since the operator bought over Swindon-based call centre and online cruise agency Fast Track Holidays in October last year. Fast Track has now been rebranded Virgin Holidays Cruises.

She also reported that the company would grow its “phenomenally successful” in-store outlets in Debenhams and Tesco from eight to 20 by mid 2009.

The company’s revenue has increased 15% year-on-year and pre tax profit increased from £43 million to £72 million. “Virgin has cushioned itself well for the economic downturn,” added Wills.