European Companies Post Profits and Losses for First Half of 2009

It’s that time of year again: Companies are announcing their earnings and losses for the first half of 2009, and we can look at cold, hard numbers to see how different travel-related businesses in Europe are faring.

Last week, we reported that the UK’s hotels had posted losses for January to June, but in the sixth month had seen an increase. Air France/KLM posted a loss for the second quarter, but remained optimistic about its future. Ryanair posted a profit for its second quarter in the same week that it announced it was reducing service, making one wonder how long those profits will last once the economic climate improves.

This week, Lufthansa announced a profit for the first half of the year, a good sign considering its planned takeover of Austrian Airlines. British Airways, on the other hand, was not so lucky, posting record losses as it struggled with its unions to hammer out a deal to stay afloat.  

Spain, meanwhile, announced that it is facing a yearlong 10 percent drop in its tourism numbers after seeing 11.4 percent fewer visitors this year than over the same in 2008.

But for all the grim numbers, most companies also said that they were optimistic about the future. Prices are still good, and there are lots of terrific deals out there to encourage your clients to go see someplace new. Now is the time to get them moving, and the next quarter might show some brighter news across the board.

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