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TUI points to travel business rebound

27 November 2003

HANOVER – German travel concern TUI AG reported Thursday that its pre-tax earnings and revenues in the third quarter of 2003 were down slightly from previous-year levels but the company is hoping for an upturn in the final quarter.

Hanover-based TUI, said its pre-tax results, at EUR504 million, were just shy of the EUR509 million figure of the third quarter of 2002.

The result came on revenues of EUR6.5 billion, down 4.3 percent from the same quarter last year, TUI reported.

In its core business of tourism, TUI said the third-quarter pre- tax earnings were EUR501 million, down slightly from EUR519 million in the third quarter of 2002, but the company was pleased all the same by the figure, after the company had lost EUR199 million in the first six months.

Tourism revenues, at EUR4.7 billion, were up 3.1 percent on the third quarter last year.

“TUI has achieved the goal it set for itself of earning half a billion euros in tourism in the third quarter,” chairman Michael Frenzel said, pointing out that this was a major challenge after the weak travel bookings of the first half of 2003.

After the sale of holdings in the energy sector – amid TUI’s ongoing drive to focus solely on travel and tourism – the company reduced its debts during the first three quarters of 2003 by around one-third, to EUR3.5 billion.

TUI said it was hopeful for its final quarter figures amid rising customer confidence and a 6.2 percent rise in bookings already made for the 2003-2004 winter season.

Besides tourism, the logistics division continued to show strong results, TUI reported, with pre-tax earnings in the third quarter reaching EUR99 million, nearly double the EUR52 million figure in the same quarter of 2002.

For the first nine months, group revenues were EUR15.4 billion, down 5 percent from the same 2002 period. Tourism business accounted for EUR10.2 billion, up 3 percent, TUI said.

Pre-tax earnings for the nine-month period, at just under EUR1.05 billion, were more than double the EUR423 million in the same period last year, with the figure reflecting proceeds from the sale of TUI’s energy activities.

In the core business of tourism, pre-tax earnings for the first nine months were EUR302 million, down 40 percent from the same 2002 period.

Subject: German news