Tui soars back into black after summer holidays boom

Business

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Tui boss Sebastian Ebel said the firm was “very well positioned for strong growth in 2023,” despite some customers likely to be thinking twice about taking a break because of the bills crisis.

Tui announced revenues quadrupled in the year to the end of September, to £14.2billion. They doubled to £6.5billion over the summer, when it had 7.6 million holidaymakers, back to 93 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

And the group swung from annual loss of £1.78billion to a profit of £351million.

The group said it only started operating in a relatively normal environment in recent months due to late lifting of Covid restrictions, the impact of the war on Ukraine, and significant airport disruption over the summer.

But winter bookings in the UK are up five percent on 2019 figures – though people are leaving it later to book given the economic uncertainty.

Mr Ebel said: “After two-and-a-half very challenging years in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the past financial year was marked by a recovery of our business.” He set out plans for “profitable growth” – including by expanding to new destinations such as Zanzibar and Senegal.

Anglo-German Tui also announced plans to repay £730million of pandemic state aid to Berlin.

Russ Mould, investment director at broker AJ Bell, said: “There were things to celebrate in travel operator Tui’s full-year numbers – notably a return to profit and a massive rebound in revenue.

Bookings are up on pre-pandemic levels and a big increase in prices will help cushion the impact on Tui of rising input costs. The question is whether this pricing power lasts.

“In 2022 holidaymakers have been willing to pay what it takes to get away for the first time in what feels like an age.

“If prices move too high then affordability becomes an issue.”

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