LONDON May 13 TUI Travel, Europe's
biggest tour operator by revenues, reported a better than
expected first-half loss despite Easter falling outside the
period this year, and said it was on track to meet its profit
The British group, which owns the Thomson and First Choice
holiday brands, on Tuesday posted an operating loss of 298
million pounds ($502.8 million) in the six months to end-March
compared to the 289 million it lost in the same period last
"Overall, we are pleased with Summer 2014 trading, against
strong comparatives, and we remain confident of delivering 7
percent to 10 percent growth in underlying operating profit
during the year on a constant currency basis," the company said
Like most tour operators and airlines, TUI generally reports
a loss in the traditionally weaker first part of the year and
makes the bulk of its profits in the summer months when its
European customer base tends to take more holidays.
This year the lucrative Easter holiday period fell in April.
Last year it was in March, helping the company's first half
results in 2013.
TUI's first-half loss compares to forecasts of a loss of 305
million pounds from Morgan Stanley analysts, whose estimate
included the impact of Easter at 25 million pounds, and a loss
of 315 million pounds from Deutsche Bank analysts, who estimated
Easter at 20 to 25 million pounds.
TUI is 55 percent owned by German travel and tourism group
TUI AG and has its biggest customer markets in
Britain and Germany. Rival operator Thomas Cook is due
to report first-half results on Thursday.
($1 = 0.5927 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Paul Sandle, Editing by Sarah Young)