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lastminute.com Appoints Head of Travel

[London, ENGLAND] Being appointed Head of Travel at lastminute.com sounds as good as becoming Head of Ice Cream at Baskin-Robbins -- but that's the job landed by Mrs. Nicola Denvir, 35, a former Cathay Pacific Airways employee.

In fact, Nicola Denvir joined lastminute.com in July 1999, heading up the flights department of Europe's largest online largest travel site. Now she moves to a more senior position at this critical stage of the company's growth, amid concerns for a falling share price and increased competition from other operators.

On taking up her post, Nicola Denvir commented that lastminute.com's travel offering is much more than just discounted deals.

"We are providing our users with convenience and inspiration and I am looking forward to working with new and existing suppliers to offer our customers a wide range of exciting and unusual products," said Denvir.

Early Wednesday, lastminute.com's shares stood at 77 pence (US $1.10), up six percent on Tuesday but still below their offer price at the time of flotation and just a fraction of the year's high of 550 pence (US $7.86).

Despite the setbacks, lastminute.com has continued to build its business, and now has over 9,500 suppliers, including international scheduled airlines, hotels and package tour operators. Among them are Lufthansa, British Midland, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Forte Hotel Group and Kempinski Hotels.

Although lastminute.com is still best known for its travel services, it offers late deals on entertainment, restaurants and also sells a wide choice of gifts including many travel-related items. In August this year MMXI Europe judged it to be the top travel site in Europe.

Chief Executive Brent Hoberman said lastminute.com is constantly looking at increasing the breadth and depth of its supply base to provide a comprehensive service. He said the new appointee would ensure that the company continues to maximize its ability to cross-sell across all areas of the site.