Virus delivers Flight Centre a $510m blow

Flight Centre has suffered a $510 million loss as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Releasing its financial results on Thursday, the company described it as the most challenging trading environment it had ever experienced.

“These losses were incurred entirely during the March-June period when governments locked down borders to slow COVID-19’s spread, thereby preventing or severely restricting leisure and corporate travel globally,”  it said.

Prior to these restrictions, Flight Centre achieved a $150 million profit for the eight months to February.

The company reported a total transaction value of $15.3 billion, down 36 per cent for the year, after minimal sales were recorded in March and throughout the final three months of the financial year.

Most of the company’s forward leisure bookings were also cancelled and the transactions reversed.

The travel centre recorded a statutory $849 million loss before tax, which included $339 million in one-off items.

“Given the limited visibility around timeframes for these government-imposed travel restrictions to be lifted, the company is not in a position at this early stage of the year to provide market guidance,” the company said.

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