TUI Travel Plc unaudited results for the six months ended March 31, 2009, for TUI Travel.
As anticipated, the rroup delivered an underlying operating loss in the first half of £289m (H108: £250m), driven by:
* adverse £30m foreign exchange translation effect, resulting from the devaluation of sterling;
* the timing of Easter, which this year fell in the second half;
* weaker trading in Canada and destination specific issues in France and Nordics increased the loss by £35m;
* incremental £48m of synergy benefits delivered; and
* continued elimination of losses in the scheduled flying operations in Germany and the UK
Trading for summer 2009 has continued to strengthen with cumulative bookings for the summer season in line with anticipated demand and capacity cuts across all key markets; fewer holidays left to sell across all regions due to capacity reduction.
Strategic co-operation between TUIfly and Air Berlin announced in March; secures optimal capacity for our German tour operating business and delivers substantial financial benefit.
Entry into the fast growing Russian and CIS source markets.
Completed sale and leaseback of ten aircraft.
The merger integration is progressing well and synergies of £52m were delivered in the first half, leaving us on track to achieve the full year target of £115m and £200m per annum run-rate by FY10.
The Board proposes an interim dividend of 3.0p (H1 08: 2.8p), an increase of 7%.
Peter Long, chief executive officer of TUI Travel PLC, commented: “TUI Travel has delivered a first half performance in line with our expectations, having managed certain source market and destination specific issues, while continuing to deliver our key strategic goals and synergy targets. In addition, during the first half we agreed the joint venture in Russia and Ukraine and the strategic co-operation between TUIfly and Air Berlin. Despite the ongoing economic weakness, we are encouraged by current trading patterns and consumer sentiment across the breadth of the group. This confidence coupled with our strong brands, market leading positions and our flexible business model means we remain well positioned to meet our expectations for the year to 30 September 2009.”