Travel firm basks in the warmth of summer sales rise

HOLIDAY company TUI Group yesterday announced that prospects were warming up for the summer on the back of higher holiday sales and prices.

TUI, formed in December from the merger of London-listed TUI Travel and German majority owner TUI AG, added that holiday sales for its winter season rose one per cent while holiday prices for the coming summer were also one per cent higher, with summer bookings also up one per cent.

It added that it was confident of growing underlying operating profit by between 10 and 15 per cent this year.

The company has already sold about 46 per cent of its summer programmes.

Online bookings now make up 42 per cent of all TUI holidays bought, having risen seven per cent since last year in the six months to the end of March.

Joint chief executives Friedrich Joussen and Peter Long expressed optimism about the coming months. “We are on track to deliver a [half-year] result ahead of last year on a like-for-like basis, and remain confident of delivering full year underlying operating profit growth of 10 per cent to 15 per cent,” they said.

The firm said: “We are pleased with the development of summer 2015 trading since our last update, with continued strong demand for our unique holidays and a 12 per cent increase in online bookings.”

Shares closed up in London 2.62 per cent at 1,214p.