Lower demand for North African destinations impacted TUI Travel PLC's first quarter results for the three months ended 31 December 2011 with a £23 million increase in operating losses.
TUI, one of Europe's largest travel firms, reported a operating loss of £109 million. Despite this, the company said it had anticipated the loss and that Winter 2011/12 and Summer 2012 bookings overall have progressed as anticipated.
TUI said it outperformed the UK leisure travel market during the key booking period in January. But TUI said, its summer 2012 bookings were flat versus -14 percent for the total market. TUI competes with the Thomas Cook Group, which is also under pressure to improve its financial performance.
TUI reported success in growing differentiated products and increasing online driven sales. Differentiated products currently account for 64 percent of UK bookings for Summer 2012.
The travel group brands include TUI Travel, TUI Hotels & Resorts and Cruises.The firm has 73,700 employees worldwide and claims over 30 million customers.
Peter Long, chief executive of TUI Travel PLC, commented: “We are satisfied with the progress in trading since our last update and are particularly pleased with the performance of differentiated product, which continues to book earlier, demonstrating the resilience of our business model. We are also pleased with the development of bookings and pricing in the UK. We have outperformed the market during the key booking period in January. We have also had a particularly good performance in online sales."