Tui Travel's sunny year clouded by France

Tui Travel's business model is continuing to prove fruitful - chief executive Peter Long said it had been an "outstanding" year. Analysts at Numis have said they expect consensus estimates to nudge up on the back of today's results.

The company saw a strong summer period, especially in the UK, but the First Choice and Thomson owner suffered from weak sales in France and a one-off restructuring cost - seeing profit before tax for the year down 10 per cent on the previous year at £181m.

Minus the £188m one-off cost from closing down unprofitable lines, Tui saw a 21 per cent jump in profit before tax. Flying ahead of long-time rival Thomas Cook, it saw profit before tax of £473m in the year ended 30 September.

Moreover, it remains on track for seven to 10 per cent annualised growth over the next five years, exceeding growth targets for 2013.

Thomas Cook reported a 49 per cent rise in underlying earnings to £263m at the end of November - testament to its cost cutting plan, delivering more savings than expected and marking a return to profit.

But Tui's also exceeded its 2013 growth roadmap target, with particularly strong performances seen in the UK and Germany. The UK saw profit growth of 27 per cent to £251m, whilst in Germany it increased 30 percent to £113m.

Europe's largest travel firm says that its exclusive unique holidays have been vital in driving holiday sales. 94 per cent of Thomson holidays were unique over the summer of 2013.

When it comes to sales for next year, the company has sold 13 per cent of its mainstream summer programme, with sales in line with expectations. But mainstream customer numbers were down three per cent for the year, with France remaining a problem area - numbers were down 19 per cent.

"Online-driven" Tui is also making good progress towards having one online platform for all its mainstream holidays. Its UK and Nordic markets are seeing "significant improvements" since the centralising move and other core markets will be shifted onto the platform over the course of next year:

The websites in our core online markets are now tablet and mobile optimised as our customers increasingly use their tablets and mobile devices to dream, plan, search and book with us.

Online sales for mainstream holidays were up 35 per cent in the period.