Swiss group Hotelplan blamed “an extremely volatile environment” for a 4% fall in turnover in the 12 months to October.

Hotelplan reported revenue of CHF1.397 billion (€1.3billion) for the year, down from CHF1.45 billion in 2018, saying it was focused on improving gross margin.

Passenger numbers fell by almost 7% to 1.69 million.

The group, part of cooperative retail giant Migros, is the largest tourism business in Switzerland.

The group’s Swiss tour operator, which accounts for more than 40% of turnover, recorded a near 5% fall in revenue to €573 million in what Hotelplan described as “a fiercely competitive domestic market”.

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Hotelplan UK saw a 9% decline in revenue to £259 million amid “stiff headwinds”, as the UK subsidiary “continued to feel the effect of the uncertainties surrounding Brexit”.

The group also noted: “The insolvency of Thomas Cook, one of Hotelplan UK’s most-important distribution and flight partners, had a detrimental impact.” However, it gave no details.

Hotelplan’s holiday home and business travel divisions also reported declining revenues but with “a significant improvement in margins” at holiday-home providers Interhome and Interchalet.

Group chief executive Thomas Stirnimann said: “Despite the ongoing Brexit-related uncertainty, we are confident Hotelplan UK will return to a state of growth.”

The group acquired German online tour operator vtours in November.

Vtours reported turnover of CHF490 million last year and Stirnimann said: “The acquisition is a significant boost for the beach holiday sector [of the business].”