Britain's biggest tour firm, and the only one which is still effectively British owned, reported profits yesterday of 211 million pounds (before tax) on increased turnover up 18 percent. Shareholders will receive an increase dividend up by nine percent. Yesterday's announcement will ease fears among Balearic hoteliers who were concerned about Airtours' financial situation amid speculation that its share price had fallen substantially over recent months. The Manchester based company is a key player in the local tourist industry, and apart from bringing an estimated one million tourists to the Balearics every year the company also owns/leases various Majorca hotels including the massive Bellvue complex in Puerto Alcudia. It also has extensive cruise ship activities in the Balearics. Commenting on the profits yesterday, Chairman David Crossland said “the results for the twelve months reflect underlying performance in our principal markets in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia, offset by a disappointing performance from our German business. This year we have undertaken a significant re-organisation of our business and taken decisive action to refocus our resources into other businesses that provide long term growth and sustainable profit. “In Germany we have already implemented a major restructing and improvement programme to return this business profitability.”

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