Strong summer trading has helped Tui Travel outperform the market with bookings from the UK up by 4%.
The travel giant has sold 84% of its summer programme with ‘unique’ holiday bookings from the UK up by 14% year on year.
The Thomson and First Choice parent reported strong high season trading in the UK, with revenues up by 11%, and an encouraging start to winter 2013/14 trading.
This helped lift third quarter operating profits by £13 million to £87 million in the three months to June 30, despite an £11 million impact from the timing of Easter this year.
Direct distribution sales for this summer was up by one percentage point in the quarter to 91%.
Online sales now account for 47% of the total in the UK, up from 45% a year ago.
Chief executive Peter Long said: “Our strategy of offering our customers unique holiday experiences continues to drive sustainable growth.
“Our strong brands and market leadership position are fundamental in achieving this strategy. As we progress towards the end of the high-season, 84% of our summer 2013 programme is now sold.”
He added: “The flexibility and robustness of our business model enables us to more effectively absorb the impacts of geopolitical events.
“Given our current position we remain very confident of achieving full year underlying operating profit growth of at least 10% on a constant currency basis and are well positioned to continue to deliver our five year growth roadmap.”
Tui reported average selling prices being up by 7% for this summer from the UK, partly reflecting cost base inflation of approximately 2% and the continued increase in unique holidays.
Sales of unique holidays are up by 14% compared to the same period last year, accounting for 83% of holidays sold to date, up by four percentage points.
Bookings from the UK for the coming winter are up by 1%, with sales of unique holidays rising by 13% against this time last year.
Average selling prices are up 8%, broadly reflecting the increased mix of unique holidays, with revenues up by 9%.
Tui has sold 21% of its winter programme from the UK.
Looking forward, Europe’s largest travel group said: “Bookings for the high season are strong and we have had an encouraging start to the winter season in the markets that are on sale.
“As a group, we operate a flexible and robust business model which enables us to more effectively absorb the impacts of geopolitical events.
“Our proven strategy continues to accelerate us towards a complete modern mainstream offering through the sustained growth of unique holidays and direct distribution.”
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