Best's new policy after contracts setback

Best of the Best, which raffles supercars at airports, yesterday said it will expand its online business and open new outlets after losing key contracts allowing it to trade at sites such as Heathrow and Stansted.

BAA told the company in October that it was terminating its contracts to trade at four of its airports as it planned to use the space for more seating and other facilities for customers.

Best stopped trading at three of its four sites at Heathrow airport and at Glasgow airport on January 3. It has since renegotiated its contract to operate at Edinburgh airport for an additional two years but will stop operating at Stansted and Heathrow's Terminal Four from an unspecified date.

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It plans to increase the scale of its online business, which now accounts for about a third of its sales, while it is hopeful of opening in other airports and will broaden its range of prizes to include watches and holidays.

The company revealed revenues declined 4.6 per cent to 3.7m in the six months to October 31, which covers the period before trading ceased at the airports, and pre-tax profits increased by 9.7 per cent to 340,000.

Chief executive William Hindmarch said: "BAA was the landlord at seven of our airport sites, representing a substantial proportion of our airport revenues.

"This has clearly been a difficult time for the company and the board has been focused on restructuring the business to operate effectively from a lower revenue base.

The company also started trading at terminal two at Dublin airport in November.