TUI Travel announces widening losses

7th February 2013, Comments 0 comments

TUI Travel, Europe's biggest tour operator, announced on Thursday that first-quarter net losses at the group grew by almost 16 percent to £119 million ($186 million, 138 million euros).

The British company, which recently failed in a bid to merge with German peer TUI, said in an earnings update that losses after tax for the three months to December 31 widened from £103 million a year earlier.

TUI Travel's financial year runs from late September.

Group sales dropped 4.4 percent to £2.718 billion in the first-quarter, weighed down by weak French demand for its holidays in north Africa amid unrest in countries like Tunisia and Morocco.

The company had in December announced soaring annual profits on deep cost-cutting and keen demand in Britain, the Nordic region, Belgium and Canada.

"We are pleased to report that our strong trading momentum has continued with particularly encouraging growth in the UK and Nordics," TUI Travel chief executive Peter Long said in Thursday's earnings statement.

The company said it expected full-year results to show underlying operating profit growth towards the top end of its guidance of 7-10 percent.

Rival TUI last month decided against a takeover offer for TUI Travel, in which it already holds more than 50 percent.

TUI Travel was created in late 2007 from the merger of British travel group First Choice and the tourism activities of Germany's TUI.

© 2013 AFP

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