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Flight Centre on track to lift earnings


Travel agency chain Flight Centre is on track to lift its full year earnings and remains on the lookout for acquisitions.

The global travel group on Tuesday reported a 13 per cent rise in net profit to $91.8 million for the six months to December 31, from $81.6 million a year earlier.

Total revenue rose to $1 billion from $954.1 million, buoyed by record earnings at the group's operations in Australia, China, Britain and Singapore.

Flight Centre said it had experienced strong trading results in January and continued to target a pre-tax profit result of between $305 million and $315 million for the full year.

The group's pre-tax profit for 2011/12 was $290.4 million.

"While Flight Centre's currently ahead of its full year growth target, maintaining 10 per cent pre-tax profit growth will become more challenging as the year progresses and as the company tracks against its largest profit months," managing director Graham Turner said in a statement.

"Flight Centre is, however, well-placed to build on the foundations that are in place."

The group believes Australia, Britain and the US will remain its key growth drivers.

However, it is interested in acquisitions.

"Flight Centre will also consider strategic acquisition opportunities and, from time to time, may use general funds to fund small acquisitions," the company said.

"The company's major focus will, however, continue to be on organic growth."

Flight Centre declared a fully-franked interim dividend of 46 cents a hare, up from at 41 cents.

Its shares were $1.07, or 3.3 per cent, lower at $31.22 at 1021 AEDT.