The Independent

TUI has posted a strong set of results for the first quarter of its financial year, recording a more than 4 per cent jump in customer numbers and anticipating a strong summer – particularly boosted by bookings for Turkey, Greece and Cyprus.

The travel company on Tuesday said that it had managed to cut its underlying core loss by more than half in the three months to December 31 to €25.4m (£22.60m).

Growth across its cruises and hotels business particularly bolstered performance, helping it to offset a hit from the insolvency of Austrian airline Niki in December. The average selling prices for summer is up 3 per cent compared to last year.

“Following three consecutive years of double-digit earnings growth, we are aiming to deliver similarly strong growth in 2018,” said chief executive Fritz Joussen.

“Our strategy is successful. Our focus is on hotels and cruises. While we used to be a trading company, we have now become developers, investors, and operators,” he said.

“This makes TUI more profitable, and we now generate our earnings more evenly across twelve months.”

The group managed to increase its turnover when stripping out currency effects by 9.1 per cent to €3.58bn during the period. Taking currency effects into account, turnover grew by 8.1 per cent.

Tui said that for the full-year it is now well positioned to deliver “at least” 10 per cent underlying earnings.

Last week, rival travel company Thomas Cook said that recovering demand for holidays to Turkey would help it offset the impact of rising costs in Spain.

Turkey, it said, makes higher profit margins than Spain, where a price war is raging among tour operators.