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TUI Loss Widens Reflecting North African Unrest

TUI AG (TUIFF.PK) reported a wider loss for its first quarter as the German shipping and travel firm experienced considerably lower demand for North African destinations due to the ongoing unrest. The company said Wednesday its hotels and resorts segment benefited from a shift in demand to the Western Mediterranean region from North Africa. Regarding current trading, the parent of UK-based TUI Travel Plc (TT.L) said the bookings for Winter 2011/12 and Summer 2012 are showing gratifying levels.

Confirming its outlook for financial year 2012, TUI said its overall Group result would be positive, with an anticipated moderate turnover growth and a slight improvement in underlying EBITA - a bottom line performance metric.

Following the news, the shares traded around 6 percent higher on Frankfurt's Xetra.

First-quarter loss attributable to shareholders was 87.6 million euros, wider than 46.4 million euros last year. Loss per share was 0.37 euros, while prior year's loss was 0.21 euros per share. The results reflected poor operating performance and a lower equity contribution from Container Shipping segment.

Operating earnings - Underlying EBITA - was a seasonal loss of 147.3 million euros, wider than last year.

Turnover grew 4.9 percent to 3.45 billion euros from 3.29 billion euros in the same quarter a year ago.

Segment-wise, TUI Travel's revenues grew 5 percent, but loss widened due to North African impact. Customer volumes in the Mainstream Business were flat. In the Central Europe Division, decline in bookings of North African destinations was partly offset by growth in demand for the Canaries.

TUI Hotels & Resorts generated higher turnover as well as earnings driven by better load factors and higher occupancy and average revenues per bed. According to the company, the results benefited significantly from the shift in demand from Northern African countries to the western Mediterranean in the first quarter.

TUI shares are currently trading at 6.55 euros, up 0.35 euros or 5.61 percent on Frankfurt's Xetra.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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