Minoan considering break-up to expand travel agency business

Minoan Group has admitted it is exploring the possibility of breaking up the business in order to accelerate growth in its travel agency division.

At the moment the Aim-listed company is made up of two main parts: the long awaited Crete resort project and agencies including Stewart Travel.

However, Minoan said that a desire to expand the travel and leisure (T&L) side of the business has been hampered by not being independent.

“It is essential that the ‘buy and build’ process of our T&L division is accelerated and to this end the board is considering the benefits of separating it in whole, or in part, from the Greek project in whichever is the best way to achieve additional value,” Minoan said.

“Amongst other methods a separate quotation may be sought as soon as the division is of sufficient scale.”

The revelation came in Minoan’s full-year results, covering the period to the end of October, 2015.

While presidential approval has finally been given to develop the new luxury resort in Crete, it continues to be a drain on the group’s bottom line, making a pre-tax loss of £1.3 million.

This wiped out the modest £233,000 pre-tax profit in the T&L division, meaning Minoan made an overall pre-tax loss of £1.6 million, compared with £1 million in the prior year.

The performance in the T&L division were hampered by a “dispute with a back office services provider”, which has since been resolved. It cost the company around £410,000.

Meanwhile, chairman Christoper Egleton said clearing the final planning hurdle for its Crete resort had made it a “landmark year” for the group.

“It will be the catalyst for one of the most significant foreign investments in the Greek tourist sector and stands to deliver substantial value for shareholders while supporting the local economy and creating some 1,200 long term jobs,” he said.

“We are already having a number of conversations to examine the best way forward to develop what will be one of the premier resorts in the Mediterranean and to ensure that we maximise returns for our investors.”

Following the results announcement, shares in the company fell by 12% to just under 8p.

TTGMedia

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