Winter booking slump for TUI Travel

Hotel News - 05/12/2011

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The company said that it had outperformed debt-ridden rival Thomas Cook although it was expecting lower booking numbers to persist in the coming months as a result of weak consumers sentiment.

Figures from the owner of First Choice and Thomson Holidays showed a drop of 12 per cent in year-on-year bookings for the winter season beginning on 27 November. This follows a decline of 11 per cent reported on 11 September, when the company announced it would be reducing capacity by 9 per cent in the wake political turbulence in Tunisia and Egypt.

Despite the recent downturn, the news comes following record full-year performance thanks to higher-margin holiday packages, which helped to push underlying profits for the company’s UK operations to £147 million, a rise of 15 per cent, as well as an to 18 per cent rise for group profits to £471 million leading up to 30 September.

TUI Travel chief executive Peter Long called 2011 a year of “robust” performance and said the firm was pleased to deliver another 12 months of profit growth despite political disturbances and weak consumer sentiments in key markets. He added that full-year results had hit record numbers in Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Canada, Nordic countries and Austria.

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