French leisure group Club Med narrows loss

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French leisure group Club Med said on Thursday it had cut its net loss by a factor of four in its 2009-2010 financial year, and said the prospects for 2011 with a sustained rise in reservations.

In the financial year which ended October 31, Club Med suffered a net loss of 14 million euros (18.6 million dollars), against a loss of 53 million euros the previous year and a profit of two million euros the year before.

Stripping out exceptional items (restructuring charges and the closure of unprofitable resorts) and before taxes, the company had a profit of eight million euros against a loss of one million euros the previous year.

And with winter bookings up by 14 percent and its resorts posting a 16.6 percent increase in operating income to 42 million euros, the company said the outlook looks good for 2011.

"Fiscal 2011 is shaping up favourably with a Club Med that now generates underlying free cash flow, while also recording double-digit growth in winter bookings and simultaneously opening two new villages -- a series of events that we haven't seen for a long time," chairman and chief executive Henri Giscard d'Estaing said in a statement.

The company is to open a resort village in Sinai Bay in Egypt and its first in China, the Yabuli mountain village, was completed last month.

Club Med said sales in China increased by over 40 percent in 2010 and the country is expected to become its second-largest market by 2015, led by the opening of five villages and the support of its Chinese development partner.

It said Fosun had taken a nearly 10 percent stake in Club Med.

© 2010 AFP

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