11 Nov 2009

Tourism Holdings forecasts half-year loss up to $1m

7:20 am on 11 November 2009

Tourism Holdings, which makes and owns camper van rental brands such as Maui and Britz, forecasts a loss of up to $1 million in the first half of this year.

Visitor numbers are dwindling as costs rise.

Speaking at the company's annual meeting in Auckland, chief executive Grant Webster said he expected future bookings to fall by 3% over the summer period, which is better than the 5% fall it forecast in August.

However, he said it was still too difficult to give a full year financial forecast as booking numbers for the crucial Christmas period have been unpredictable.

Mr Webster said it would take up to three years to see the benefits of restructuring.

He predicts many rental car operators will go out of business in the current market, and says he is keeping a close eye on acquisition opportunities.

Meanwhile, media were banned from recording Tourism Holding's annual meeting. This follows similar action taken by Vector and PGG Wrightson last month.

Chairman Keith Smith, who as chair of PGG Wrightson also banned media from recording its AGM last month, says shareholder meetings should not be recorded because soundbytes can be taken out of context, and it is also unfair to shareholders not at the meeting.