30 May 2006

BAA turns down Ferrovial...again

Airport operator BAA has rejected an improved takeover offer from Ferrovial of 900 pence per share, the Spanish construction firm has revealed.

Ferrovial is heading up the consortium that is aiming to acquire BAA and expressed its disappointment that the offer, which the Spanish company described as "extremely attractive" and values the operator at £9.732 billion, was rejected without "further discussion".

Having previously offered £8.75 billion for BAA, the consortium has pledged to push ahead with its takeover bid despite this latest setback.

BAA and Ferrovial are currently locked in a battle to win shareholders over, with the airport group pledging to invest £9.5 billion in airport infrastructure over the decade and return £750 million to investors if they reject the consortium's advances.

The company operates seven airports in the UK and handles two-thirds of passenger traffic, but any prospective takeover by Ferrovial has already been approved in theory by the European Commission after it decided that the "proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition".

More here.

15 May 2006

IXEO - Interactive travel portal

IXEO travel portalIt's not often you stumble across high quality travel websites on the web. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty on offer out there, but IXEO has somewhat managed to make a difference by creating the largest flights and hotel bookings database on the web. All this wrapped up in a unique website which is not only easy on the eye but great to navigate around too.

You can book flights, hotels, cars, and additional local elements such as excursions (safaris/wild life tours/trekking), sport activities (fitness/hiking, golf) as well as tickets and events to make your trip a unique and complete experience. On top of that there is plently travel information giving you useful information and great tips for every destination.

It is all made very simple using the innovative IX-concierge function that allows you to custom-build travel packages from scratch, to suit all your travel needs.

Highly recommended, specially if you are bored with the usual travel portals and looking for something new and refreshing.


Other interesting sections include:
  • Ancient cultures
  • Dive sites
  • Golf courses
  • Great cities
  • Safaris
  • Cultural heritage
  • Natural heritage

12 May 2006

Expedia profits slide

Expedia said net income in the three months to the end of March was $23.3m, or 6 cents per share, down 51 per cent, or 8 cents per share, on the same period a year ago.

Total revenue for the first quarter rose 1.8 per cent to $493.9m, while gross bookings increased 14 per cent.

The company blamed the slump on rising marketing costs, which rose by $21.4m during the quarter.

"While we anticipated negative growth in the first half of 2006, our performance this quarter was far below those expectations," said Expedia chairman and senior executive Barry Diller.

"We increased costs in many sectors - necessarily we believe for our long term growth - but didn't generate the revenues to offset the increased expenses.

"We believe little has changed fundamentally - Expedia remains the largest and most profitable online travel agent in the world, and while 2006 is going to be a challenging year, we don't think long-term shareholder value and returns are in question."

First-quarter domestic revenue fell 4 per cent but international revenue grew 24 per cent.

Expedia, the largest US Internet travel agency, is facing growing competition from hotels and airlines, which use their own websites to sell directly to the consumer.

From 999Today.

03 May 2006

EasyJet prospects improve despite costs

Reuters reports that budget airline easyJet said on Wednesday prospects were improving, helped by cost cuts and sales of in-flight drinks and online insurance, lifting its shares despite a hefty fuel bill and a wider first-half loss.

EasyJet, Europe's second-largest budget carrier after Ryanair, said it now expects pretax profit growth of between 10 and 15 percent for the year compared with a previous outlook for mid to high single digit percentage profit growth.

Analysts said this would suggest a full year pretax profit of between 90 and 95 million pounds.

EasyJet posted a pretax loss of 40 million pounds for the six months to the end of March compared with a 22 million-pound loss previously.

Analysts were forecasting a pretax loss of 42 million pounds, according to the mean of forecast in Reuters Estimates. EasyJet had tipped a 45 million-pound loss in February.

EasyJet's fuel costs rose 68 percent year-on-year to 166 million pounds, equivalent to 9.14 pounds per seat. The total included 12.5 million pounds from more flights.

More here.