Tui Travel, who are the owners of First Choice and Thomson, is flying high after an upbeat trading statement.
The tour operator said it was confident of hitting full year profit guidance after a strong finish to winter trading and buoyant summer bookings.
The company, part owned by Germany’s Tui AG which recently mounted a failed bid, said winter sales were up 2% in total while summer UK and Nordic bookings were up 9%. Chief executive Peter Long said:
Our strong operational performance over winter means we will deliver reduced winter losses. This very strong trading has continued into summer 2013, leaving us well place to achieve a full year performance towards the upper end of our growth targets.
Attractive products, strong distribution and miserable weather are combining to drive sales across most of the group’s core source markets. The recovery at Thomas Cook may be grabbing all the attention, but TUI Travel continues to deliver a solid performance. Nick Batram at Peel Hunt.
The positive trends reported in the first quarter have continued into the second, with good winter demand and strong pricing in all key markets with the exception of France (average sales price up, but customers down 30%). There is also less to sell in all major markets than the corresponding period last year. Accommodation wholesale continues to show the benefit of investment, with sales up 25%. The one dull spot remains specialist and activity, where sales are
down 3%, although this is largely expected.
Tui Travel shares have climbed 3% to 319.7p, making it the biggest riser in the leading index.