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Orbitz Posts First Quarter Loss

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Orbitz Worldwide, the online travel agency, on Monday reported a first-quarter loss as it set aside funds for income taxes and forecast revenue for the current period.

Revenue was aided by the February acquisition of certain assets of the Travelocity Partner Network, which handles contracts for Yahoo Travel and some banks.

Though the Travelocity purchase helped revenue, "it's clear that (Orbitz is) continuing to execute, they're improving the balance sheet, and there's a lot of room for growth in terms of international penetration gains," said Daniel Kurnos, an analyst with Benchmark.

Orbitz, which operates its namesake and CheapTickets brands in the United States and ebookers in Europe, has boosted revenue from hotel sales, which tend to be more profitable than airline tickets.

Quarterly revenue rose 4 percent to USD$210.3 million. Orbitz forecast revenue for the second quarter of between USD$239 million and USD$245 million.

In the first quarter, hotel revenue rose 7 percent to USD$67.2 million, while revenue from airline tickets rose 1 percent to USD$70.2 million.

Orbitz posted a net loss of USD$5.9 million for the first quarter as it recorded an income tax provision of USD$7.3 million. That result compared with a year-earlier profit of USD$146.2 million, which was aided by an income tax benefit of USD$158.5 million.

(Reuters)