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Thursday, 3 January, 2002, 11:32 GMT
Attacks prompt travel firm warning
The aviation industry has been hit by the attacks
Cardiff online travel agency World Travel Holdings has said its businesses are being hit by knock-on effects of the 11 September terrorist attacks.

The company, which acquired Bob Geldof's rival in March 2001, said the last quarter of the year was severely disrupted by the changes in global travel patterns.

The attacks in New York City and the war in Afghanistan forced it to make "swingeing cuts" in costs.

After the events of September 11 in New York, we have adjusted our business and cost base to deal with the current level of sales

John Biles, World Travel Holdings
The company said it hoped it would see a seasonal improvement in 2002, but warned it would have to take further cost-cutting measures if a recovery was not substantial.

All parts of the group, which sells travel packages online via sites including, of the US and of Canada, are at reduced operation since 11 September.

World Travel Holdings bosses will be grateful if they escape the impact of the international crisis which has already hit the aviation industry and an estimated 26,000 jobs.

Profits rise

However, the airport group posted a rise in profits and passenger numbers in November and travel agents have reported increased bookings over the Christmas period.

World Travel Holdings will be hoping its international-focused packages can steer it through the turbulence.

Bob Geldof
Bob Geldof is on the company board
On Thursday, the company said turnover rose from 133,000 to 858,000 while pre-tax loss was 1.26m compared to 1.42m for the three months to September 2001.

A spokesperson said the 600,000 cash the company had at the end of the quarter "should be adequate for the board's base case for future trading."

There have been redundancies at Airbus's Broughton wings plant in Flintshire after orders for its planes fell.

Wrexham wing parts supplier Trefn laid off 124 staff after an 8m reduction in orders.

And French construction consortium Vinci turned its back on a buy-out of Cardiff International Airport owners TBI after shares plunged followed the attacked on the World Trade Center.

Plan adjusted

Executive chairman John Biles said: "After the events of September 11 in New York, we have adjusted our business and cost base to deal with the current level of sales and are encouraged by the renewed progress we are making towards profitability."

Shares in the group jumped 11% to 2p following the announcement, valuing the firm at 4.4m.

Pop mogul Bob Geldof joined the group's board as a non-executive director after selling UK-facing to the company in March for 3.2m.

Company travel director Raymond Dyer founded City Travel in Cardiff in 1969 before selling to American Express in 1993.

See also:

15 Apr 99 | The Company File
Geldof launches travel Website
09 Apr 00 | Business
Lastminute grabs travel spotlight
24 Dec 01 | Scotland
Holidaymakers return to the skies
06 Dec 01 | Business
Ebookers drops the .com
24 Oct 01 | Business
Ebookers defies travel slump
31 Oct 01 | Business
Thomas Cook axes UK jobs
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