Mixed bag as travel companies release expectations for year

Whilst Thomas Cook books fewer holidays for the UK, and anticipates political disruption to travel, Tui Travel sees 11 per cent growth and plenty of winter bookings.

Travel agent Thomas Cook has seen UK holiday bookings down three per cent on last year, with a capacity reduction of 2.5 per cent. (Release)

Summer trading has been in line in expectations in the UK, at 95 per cent sold. in line with expectations. And, the company anticipates that the UK will match its expectations in terms of sales prices, with averages increasing over 4.5 per cent year-on-year.

Continental bookings have been flat over the past year, despite capacity reductions of about 10 per cent and average sales prices of just one per cent.

The company has confidence, however, that, with capacity 15 per cent lower year-on-year, price levels can be maintained until the end of the season.

Harriet Green, Group chief executive, comments:

Summer 2013 trading is as we anticipated when we announced our Q32013 Interim Management Statement, with last year's very strong lates market returning to more normal levels as expected.

In terms of winter holidays, we are at an early stage in the booking cycle. While we expect geopolitical events may impact destination choice, we are, following the improved integration of our business lines, offering customers a wider range of new routes and attractive vacations which we believe will provide a sound basis for continued performance into the new financial year. This combined with the continued delivery of our new product range and our cost out and profit improvement plan, give us confidence of achieving our targets and successfully implementing our strategy for profitable growth.
We look forward to reporting further progress at our FY13 results announcement on 28 November 2013.

TUI Travel, of which First Choice is a part, has reported its confidence in achieving at least 11 per cent growth on a constant currency basis for the year ending 30 September. (Release)

UK and Nordic holidaying was strong during the summer, with revenues up eight and 10 per cent respectively, and the company has sold 31 per cent of its mainstream winter programme.

The company reported that it had reduced the number of holidays to Egypt but upped capacity elsewhere.

Peter Long, chief executive of TUI Travel PLC, commented:

We are very pleased with our trading during the Summer 2013 high season, with most of our programmes now almost fully sold. Our strong performance in the market continues to be driven by increased customer demand for unique holidays and higher levels of direct distribution.

As a result of this successful strategy, we are now confident of achieving full year underlying operating profit growth of at least 11% on a constant currency basis and are well positioned to continue to deliver on our five-year growth roadmap.