* Q1 turnover down 2.9 pct at 3.4 bln eur
* Q1 underlying EBITA loss flat at 140.6 mln
* CEO says turnaround started at Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
* Group confirms 2013/14 outlook
FRANKFURT, Feb 12 German travel and tourism
group TUI AG said it was more confident for its
struggling Hapag-Lloyd cruises unit as it reported quarterly
results on Wednesday.
The group, which owns 55 percent of Europe's largest tour
operator TUI Travel, said its first quarter underlying
operating loss was flat at 140.6 million euros ($192.3 million),
while sales dropped 2.9 percent to 3.4 billion euros.
TUI AG also runs its own hotel and cruise operations and
said the first-quarter loss at the cruises division, which
comprises TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, widened to 16
million euros from 11 million euros a year earlier.
Chief Executive Friedrich Joussen is shifting the focus of
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises to luxury and adventure cruises and plans to
restrict the amount of berths on offer to increase rates and
occupancy. In the first quarter, the average rate per passenger
fell to 368 euros from 373 euros and occupancy dropped 7
percentage points to 60.8 percent.
"We have initiated the turnaround by means of a change in
management. In total, I am therefore far more optimistic for
this segment than I was a year ago," he said in a statement.
Overall, TUI AG said it continued to expect turnover to rise
between 2 and 4 percent and operating results to increase 6-12
percent in its financial year to end-September.
TUI Travel last week reported a smaller underlying operating
loss for the first quarter and said that bookings for summer
holidays had been strong.