Tui climbs to top of FTSE 100 on winter bookings boost

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Shares in Tui have climbed to the top of the FTSE 100 this morning as UK holidaymakers’ appetite for sun-filled trips abroad have boosted bookings at the world’s largest tour operator.

The travel group, which operates the Thomson and First Choice brands, said this morning that bookings for the winter season were up 4 per cent and revenues up 8 per cent compared to last year

Travellers across Europe, particularly from Britain, are opting to take long haul and cruise trips, as well as shorter journeys to the Canary Islands, Spain and Greece. Growth to these destination helped offset lower demand to Turkey and Egypt, following a spate of terrorist attacks and political turmoil in the countries.

The FTSE 100 company said trading for the summer season was also “in line with with our expectations”, with journeys to the western Mediterranean, Cyprus, Cape Verde and the Caribbean proving popular. Bookings are up 4 per cent and revenues up 9 per cent for the summer.

Tui shares are up 2.9 per cent at publication time to £11.90.

“More customers at higher prices is always good,” said Fritz Joussen, chief executive of Tui Group.

The company began a transformation plan in 2014, moving away from being a simple tour operator to focus instead on a “vertically-integrated” model, whereby it owns each of the component parts of a holiday, including hotels and cruise ships.

As part of these changes, Tui announced on Monday night it sold Travelopedia, a division of luxury and adventure holiday brands such as Hayes & Jarvis, to private equity group KKR for €381m. Last year, the company announced a €1.2bn deal to sell its Hotelbeds Group, a bedbank that offers rooms to travel agencies and airlines.

Reporting results for the first quarter of the financial year on Tuesday, the company said turnover had grown 8.5 per cent on a constant currency basis to €3.49bn. Taking into account foreign exchange translation, turnover rose just 2.3 per cent to €3.29bn.

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