Trading momentum strong at TUI Travel after decent winter

Leisure travel firm TUI Travel has maintained its full-year guidance, saying that underlying operating profits should rise by as much as a tenth this year, after a strong winter performance.

Leisure travel firm TUI Travel has maintained its full-year guidance, saying that underlying operating profits should rise by as much as a tenth this year, after a strong winter performance.

While total mainstream customer numbers were down 4.0% year-on-year in the winter 2012/2013 season, sales were up 2.0% as the average selling price (ASP) rose 5.0%.

Ahead of its half-year results for the six months to March 31st, the company said its winter programme ended strongly with improved margins and ASPs across its key source markets.

Trading momentum going into the summer 2013 season is said to be "very strong" with the company particularly pleased with trading in the UK and Nordic regions where it is seeing double-digit revenue growth (13% and 15%, respectively) and a 9.0% rise in customer numbers.

Some 46% of its overall mainstream summer programme has been sold, with total sales up 7.0% year-on-year and ASPs up 5.0%. Customer numbers across the whole group are 2.0% higher.

The firm said it continues to expect to be towards the top end of its guidance for 7-10% growth in underlying operating profit for the 2013 financial year.

"We have a clear roadmap for growth built upon a deep understanding of our industry and customers. Our strong operational performance over winter means we will deliver reduced winter losses," said Chief Executive Peter Long.

"This very strong trading has continued into Summer 2013, leaving us well placed to achieve a full-year performance towards the upper end of our growth targets."

The company's first-half results will be released on May 10th.

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