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Tui Group reports 43% of holidays booked online in the first half of its financial year

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Tui Group today said that 43% of its holidays were booked online in the first half of its financial year. That’s two percentage points ahead of the same time last year.

In the winter 2015/16 season, online bookings accounted for 45% of all bookings – another two percentage point improvement in the context of season in which Tui revenues rose by 3%, while booking volumes remained flat. Growth in the UK and Benelux markets were “partly offset” by Germany. So far in the summer 2016 season, 39% of bookings have been made online – three percentage points up on last year. Overall revenues have risen by 2% and bookings by 1% in a season that has so far seen 59% of holidays sold.

In the UK market, 65% of holidays have been sold for this summer, more than at the same time last, with UK cruise sales up “significantly”. In the UK, Tui operates the First Choice and Thomson brands but is now moving towards a single Tui brand, which it says will offer “significant opportunities in terms of growth potential, consistency of customer experience, digital presence, operational efficiency and competitive strength.” It added: “It is our objective that there will be one brand wherever it is reasonable but we will still ensure we maintain our local roots.” The move to one brand has started in the Netherlands and the UK is set to follow “over the next few years.”

The update came as Tui reported sales of £6.8bn in the first half of the financial year – 2.7% up on the same time last year. Reported earnings before interest, tax and asset writedowns (EBITDA) came in at a loss of €288.3m in the six months to March 31, an improvement of 16.3% on the €368.5m loss reported at the same time last year.

The travel company predicts that underlying EBITDA will improve by at least 10% this year, and over the three years to 2017/18.

Tui Group chief executive Friedrich Joussen said: “We are focussed on delivering our TUI Group strategy in becoming a content centric, vertically integrated tourism business.”

The company is selling its Hotelbeds Group business for €1.2bn and also now plans to sell the Specialist Group business as it focuses on its growth strategy.

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