May 26, 2009 / 6:47 AM / 11 years ago

Holidaybreak H1 loss widens

(Reuters) - Holidaybreak HBR.L, a specialist holiday firm, on Tuesday posted a 21.5 percent wider pretax loss before exceptional items for the six months to March but said current trading was in line with its expectations.

The company, which offers short breaks within the UK and Europe, traditionally reports an operating loss in the first half due to the seasonal nature of its Camping and Education divisions.

The company declared a dividend of 4.625 pence per share for the six months, compared with 9.25 pence for the same period a year ago.

“We have taken and are taking the necessary steps to cut costs and restructure operations, particularly in the Adventure Travel Division,” Chief Executive Carl Michel said in a statement.

“Education, our largest division, is doing well and we are seeing signs of improved trading in Hotel Breaks.”

Holidaybreak said it expected the trend for accretive new investment or acquisition opportunities to increase over the rest of the financial year and beyond.

The company posted a pretax loss before special items of 18.1 million pounds for the period, compared with 14.9 million pounds a year ago.

Revenue fell 2 percent to 153.2 million pounds.

Shares of the company closed at 278 pence Friday on the London Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Shivani Singh in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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