TUI narrows losses with overseas boost

TUI Travel, Europe’s biggest tour operator, yesterday said it was on track to meet full-year expectations as increased demand for alternative destinations offset the impact of unrest in Egypt and Tunisia.

The FTSE 100 company, majority owned by German group TUI AG, said disruption from troubles in Egypt and Tunisia had knocked £29m off first-half profit, compared with the £30m it anticipated. Overall TUI Travel lost £307m in the six months to 31 March compared with £322m in the same period last year. For the second-half, TUI Travel said it expected to be able to fully mitigate the impact by increasing the amount of holidays on sale to alternative destinations.

“The flexibility of our business model has allowed us to react quickly to mitigate the impact of the events in North Africa” chief executive Peter Long said.

“We have reshaped our programmes across all source markets to satisfy the shift in demand to alternative destinations including Spain, Greece and Turkey,” he added.

In contrast, arch-rival Thomas Cook said on Monday the impact of unrest in the Arab world had been worse than previously thought.