The sale of Stewart Travel helped Minoan Group cut its winter losses by £312,000.

The company sold the Scottish travel agency group last October to concentrate on long-term plans to develop a luxury resort complex in Crete.

Minoan today revealed that its operating loss for the winter six months to April 30 had been trimmed from £593,000 to £281,000, reflecting a reduction in costs throughout the business following the disposal of Stewart Travel.

MoreMinoan reveals loss on sale of Stewart Travel [Apr 19]

However, the company’s pre-tax loss for the six months increased to £1.144 million from £1.095 million for the same period a year earlier.

Chairman Christopher Egleton said: “Whilst the net loss for the period has increased slightly over the prior period, that largely reflects the one off profit from discontinued items in the prior period of £455,000 and in the absence of this, the net loss in the current year has been reduced by £406,000 compared to the prior period.”

He praised shareholders for continuing to back the company with share placings in December and May as it moves towards the finalisation of the Crete project.

“During the first six months of the financial year, the board has continued to make progress towards the realisation of the company’s development project in Crete, whilst continuing to reduce ongoing costs and liabilities.”

Minoan has outline planning consent for a development of a 6,000-acre plot within a peninsula site with 28 kilometres of coastline on the Greek island.

Egleton said: ”The events during the period under review have been somewhat overshadowed by the snap general election in Greece which followed the elections for the European Parliament.

“The company has continued to cut costs whilst further progressing its project in Crete as well as entering into new discussions which are intended to lead to the realisation of shareholder value.

“The election of an avowedly business friendly government is extremely encouraging.”

He added that the new centre right government in Greece has promised to encourage all forms of investment in the country.

Minoan has continued to progress “all the studies necessary to allow architectural and technical teams to prepare detailed designs and building drawings,” Egleton said.

“On a more general note, there has been a continuing increase in activity in the purchase and sale of tourism-based assets in Greece and, like the overall economic situation, this is extremely encouraging both in terms of the value and the desirability of the project to prospective investors and partners.”

MoreMinoan reveals loss on sale of Stewart Travel [Apr 19]