TUI defies global turmoil to post improved financial outlook

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Thomson ad: cautious on uncertain outlook
Thomson ad: cautious on uncertain outlook

TUI Travel, Europe's largest travel operator, has reported a 5% lift in revenue alongside 'improved' underlying operating profits in its first six months, despite losses from the effects of Easter and unrest in North Africa.

The operator, which owns brands First Choice and Thomson, posted a 5% increase in revenue to £5.2bn in the first six months to 31 March.

The company saw a slight decrease in its underlying operating loss before tax to £364m, down from £375m last year.

Peter Long, chief executive of TUI Travel Plc, said he was "pleased" with the improved first half operating result while the company was faced with the effects of the political unrest in Egypt and Tunisia, the "weak UK economic environment" and the shift of the Easter period.

He said: "This result demonstrates our continued success in turning around underperforming businesses and shows the strength of our differentiated products which have allowed us to outperform the market.

"The first half performance and our current booking position for the summer season leave us well placed to deliver the Board's expectations for the year. At this stage of the booking cycle, however, we remain cautious given the uncertain economic and geopolitical outlook."

Yesterday (Monday 9 May) rival Thomas Cook reported an increase in underlying operating loss of £36m for its first half and said that trading in the UK remained "tough".

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