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ebookers.com Seeks London Stock Exchange Listing

[London, ENGLAND] After announcing what it called "record" financial results for Q4 and the last year, pan-European online travel company ebookers.com said it would seek a listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Currently listed on both Nasdaq (EBKR) and the Neuer Markt (eb6), ebookers.com believes an LSE listing will give it access to institutional funds that are not otherwise available. It plans to retain its presence on the other markets even though it hopes to start trading on the LSE by the end of March.

Sales worth US $43.6 million at ebookers.com were up four times in the fourth quarter when compared to Q4 in 1999. However, losses deepened from US $3.4 million to US $9.3 million in the same two periods.

For the full year in 2000, ebookers.com achieved gross sales of US $154.1 million and lost 20 cents on each share, excluding stock compensation and fund raising costs.

The whole picture is rounded off by the news that visits to ebookers.com's Web sites in 2000 reached over 25 million, a 10 fold increase on 1999.

In a statement, Chief Executive Dinesh Dhamija reminded investors that ebookers.com was on target and entered the financial year 2001 with a strong cash balance of US $50.0 million.

The whole picture, he said, was very different to those presented by other dot-coms which -- unlike ebookers.com -- demonstrated fast deteriorating cash positions.

"In 2001 we intend to increase sales through organic growth and also through considering acquisitions in key markets," said Dinesh Dhamija.

According to a PhocusWright research report, ebookers.com has become the top online travel agency in Europe, with a 20 percent market share. During 2000, its most dramatic business move was taking over its former parent company Flightbookers plc.

Earlier this month, ebookers.com said it was unaffected by the decision of Northwest Airlines and KLM Royal Dutch airlines to stop paying commission for online ticket sales.