Tui group says its strategy of developing, investing in and operating product is paying off and it is now more profitable throughout the year.

In a first quarter trading update today the European travel giant reported seasonal underlying EBITA losses had been reduced by more than half or 57.91%.

The firm said firms in the tourism sector typically report seasonal losses at this time of year  but that its strategy was mitigating that.

Chief executive Fritz Joussen said: ““Our strategy is successful. Our focus is on hotels and cruises. While we used to be a trading company, we have now become developers, investors, and operators.

“This makes Tui more profitable, and we now generate our earnings more evenly across twelve months.

“In the completed financial year, our hotels, cruise businesses and destination services delivered 59% of our underlying earnings.

“And we continue to invest in digitalisation: It helps us enhance our Group’s efficiency and offer our customers relevant, tailored products and services.

“Thanks to the use of the blockchain and our own yield management system, we manage our bed capacity considerably more efficiently, and our CRM systems allow us to gain a single view of the customer and deliver individualised offers.”

In the first three months of Tui’s financial year the firm increased turnover at constant currency by 9.1% to €3.58 billion (previous year €3.28 billion).

Including foreign exchange effects, turnover also climbed by 8.1%. Underlying EBITA at constant currency improved by 57.9 per cent to a seasonal loss of €25.4 million (previous year -60.3 million euros). Including foreign exchange effects, it improved by 58.7%.

Tui said the outlook for summer 2018 was “very good”, with performance “full matching our expectations”. Tui reiterated its forecast for the full year of 10% growth.

Joussen added: “Q1 2018 has shown that Tui is on track, we continue to grow. Following three consecutive years of double-digit earnings growth, we are aiming to deliver similarly strong growth in 2018.

“That is why we are delighted about our very good Q1 performance. Turnover climbed by 9.1% and we increased our customer numbers by 4.4% year-on-year.”