TUI Travel today said its strategy of selling holidays directly to customers had been proven through “outstanding” financial results.
Peter Long, chief executive, said results including sales of £15bn in the year to September 30, 4% up on the previous year, and a 21% rise in pre-tax profits to £473m, showed that “our strategy of delivering unique holidays sold directly to our customers is the right one.”
He added: “The business continues to deliver sustainable growth through our unique holiday experiences, increasingly distributed online, whilst leveraging its scale as one organisation. This in turn, will drive further value for both our customers and shareholders.”
Online package holiday bookings rose by 12% during the year, with 35% of holidays in its mainstream business now booked online (47% in the UK). The holiday company said some £3.7bn of revenue was generated online in that business.
During the year, TUI invested both in online retailing and in taking digital into next-generation stores. It said its move to optimise websites in its core markets (which include the UK) for mobile came “as our customers increasingly use their tablet and mobile devices to dream, plan, search and book with us.” The first of its next-generation retail stores launched during the year, with a focus on combining “personal advice and service with a rich digital experience that enables customers to build their perfect holiday.” TUI added: “This will be integrated into a holiday planner tool that allows them to take their ideas home with them and book using whatever channel they choose.”
The company is currently moving from multiple online platforms to one core platform across the business, with the UK and Nordic markets already moved across.