Tui summer bookings hold firm as Britons shrug off soaring costs
10 August 2017
Thomson owner Tui has said British holidaymakers have shrugged off the soaring cost of overseas trips from the Brexit-hit pound as summer bookings held firm.
The group said UK bookings were "as high as the previous year", while customer numbers lifted 5% in the third quarter thanks to the later timing of Easter.
Tui also cheered strong demand for core European destinations after it switched away from Turkey and upped its group-wide sales outlook for the year.
It is expecting annual turnover to rise by more than 3%, while Tui also said it made an underlying profit for the first time over the first nine months of its financial year - a period that traditionally sees seasonal losses.
Chief executive Fritz Joussen said the group was in "excellent shape".
He added: "We have significantly reduced the seasonal swing of our business.
"For the first time, we have delivered a positive operating result for the first nine months of a financial year."
The group confirmed it expects annual underlying earnings to rise by at least 10%, having notched up a 37.7% surge to 221.6 million euros (£200 million) in its third quarter, thanks to a boost from Easter and the impact of the weak pound on UK sales.
With this stripped out, third quarter earnings rose by 18.7% to 191 million euros (£172.7 million).
It delivered nine-month earnings of 7.3 million euros (£6.6 million) against losses of 45.5 million euros (£41.1 million) a year earlier.
It benefited from swift moves away from Egypt and Turkey following terrorist attacks in recent years, with security-conscious holidaymakers opting instead for destinations such as Greece, Spain, the Cape Verde Islands and long-haul holidays.
The firm also confirmed it will start to roll out its Tui rebrand in the UK from the autumn, which will see it bring all brands under the group logo – marking the end of Thomson and First Choice as separate brands.
The UK is the last of its markets to see the rebrand, which was announced in 2015.