Alpha issues profit warning

<p>Alpha Airports Group, provider of airline catering services and operator of the World News and Bookbound travel shops, has issued a profit warning despite a "strong year" for its book sales.

The company expects pre-tax profit to be &#163;18.5m for the year to end-January, some &#163;2.5m under its previous forecasts. The shortfall is attributed to higher-than-anticipated costs being incurred to grow its Australia Flight Services business and return its Amsterdam Flight Services business to profit.

The company's retail businesses have achieved like-for-like annual sales growth of over 11%. Alpha Retail currently operates 31 World News concessions and two Bookbound shops.

It claims it will increase its UK book sales by at least 10% by volume as a result of winning new contracts to run Birmingham International Airport's Terminal 1 newsagent shops from W H Smith this year. UK marketing manager Ben Deller said: "It has been a strong year for books as a result of new contracts, refits and a stronger book offer."

It has just secured a new World News site to open in Robin Hood airport in Doncaster in April. Results for the full year will be announced on 31st March.</p>