Cheapflights, the flight comparison website that is one of Britain's oldest independent dotcom companies, is looking to expand into mainland Europe, having carved itself a lucrative niche in the UK and US online travel markets and seeing off a number of recent bid approaches from media and private equity companies.

The website, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is considering a move into Germany and other European markets. It is in the last stages of hiring a head for its US unit to free up management time to concentrate on Europe. David Soskin, its chief executive, said: "We think we have got a global business here. Our view is that if you can succeed on the internet in America you can succeed about anywhere."

"We have been approached by a number of private equity firms," said Mr Soskin, "but we have always thought we are at the beginning of something important. There is so much more that we can do, we do not need to sell out."

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