14 Nov 2009

Southern Travel predicts loss

8:35 pm on 14 November 2009

Southern Travel Holdings says it may make a loss this year, because the high New Zealand dollar is wiping out most of its profits.

Chief executive Jacqui Walshe says the company realises there is little it can do about the high currency, but it comes at a time when bookings for the summer period are also down.

Meanwhile, chairman Rodney Walsh says the board may consider delisting from the Stock Exchange if business continues to deteriorate, because the cost of maintaining its listing is too high.

They were speaking on Thursday in Auckland at the company's annual meeting, where shareholders approved a plan to raise $1.13 million through a rights issue.

The issue is fully underwritten by Mr Walshe, the largest shareholder.

Mr Walshe says the money will be used to fund web development and acquisitions, in order to reduce its reliance on visitors from Japan, whose numbers have fallen dramatically due to the economic downturn and swine flu.