Tui Travel’s underlying operating loss was cut by 15% in the three months to December as the group’s ‘unique’ holidays continue to drive increases in UK market share.
The operating loss reduced by £16 million to £93 million to give an underlying first quarter operating loss of £116 million.
Issuing first quarter results for the period ending December 31, Tui Travel reported “significant” continued growth in UK cumulative market share with summer 2013 up 4% and the key January booking period up 2%, gaining on the 7% increase in the same period last year.
Unique holiday bookings in the UK, Nordics and Germany increased by 15%, 10% and 6% year-on-year respectively for summer 2013.
Direct distribution sales in the UK for summer 2013 grew to 90% from 89% with online sales accounting for 37%, up by 1% over the same period a year earlier.
Tui claims its accommodation wholesaler business “continues to build a global leadership position” with total transaction value up by 9% for this summer, driven by Latin America and Asia where TTV is up by 23%.
The group reported strong current trading with winter 2012/13 83% sold with higher margins and average selling prices in key source markets.
Summer 2013 bookings in the UK and Nordics are up 9% and 10% respectively with margins ahead of the prior year in key source markets.
Chief executive Peter Long said: “We are pleased to report that our strong trading momentum has continued with particularly encouraging growth in the UK and Nordics.
“Our leading position in the UK has further benefited from increased market share as a result of higher demand for our unique holidays. Across all our key markets demand for the overseas holiday remains strong, despite the overall economic environment.
"We are confident that our customer focused strategy is driving performance and based on current trading we expect to be towards the top end of our roadmap guidance of 7 to 10% underlying operating profit growth for the 2013 financial year.”
Tui said: "Positive trading momentum continues for summer, with a third of mainstream summer holidays sold to date.
"Customer demand for our unique holidays has allowed us to increase capacity in the UK, Nordics and Germany. In the UK we have again increased our market share year on year as a result of increased demand for our unique holidays."
Tui Travel will issue a pre-close trading update on March 27.
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