Sept 21 (Reuters) - French vaccine maker Valneva on Thursday reported a smaller half-year loss, as a rebound in global tourism boosted sales of its travel vaccines Ixiario and Dukoral.

The group's net loss narrowed to 35.0 million euros ($37.2 million) in the first half of 2023, from a loss of 171.5 million a year earlier.

"We delivered another strong quarter of growth, leading our first-half vaccine sales to more than double year-over-year, while continuing to progress our clinical studies," Chief Financial Officer Peter Bühler said in a statement.

Chief Executive Thomas Lingelbach added in a conference call the company is managing supply demand quite well and that it doesn't expect any further inventory issues.

Being on track with manufacturing performance, Valneva now expects a new contract with the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)"imminently".

The DLA ended a contract to supply an encephalitis vaccine in August last year on a slowdown in global travel.

Half-year product sales reached 69.7 million euros, versus 33.3 million euros in the prior year, also helped by price increases.

The drugmaker is betting on its vaccine candidates for tick-borne Lyme disease and mosquito-borne Chikungunya, as it seeks to bounce back from its COVID-19 vaccine disappointment.

The Chikungunya vaccine candidate is being reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is set to give its decision at the end of November. The Lyme disease vaccine, developed in partnership with Pfizer, is going through a phase 3 trial.

During the conference call, Lingelbach also said Valneva plans to revisit Zika vaccine development with a trial starting as soon as early next year.

"Now that the COVID vaccine development is behind us, we are reactivating our Zika program," he said, adding that "we believe there is a significant unmet medical need and we see a highly complementary potential asset".

The European Commission last year dropped nearly all of its orders for Valneva's COVID vaccine, which all but wiped out the shot's value for the company.

Valneva reiterated its 2023 outlook for a revenue of 220-260 million euros, of which 130-150 million in product sales. ($1 = 0.9403 euros) (Reporting by Stéphanie Hamel and Gaëlle Sheehan in Gdansk; Editing by Milla Nissi and Sharon Singleton)