Brexit-bitten Brits shrug off woes to hit the beaches

Thomson owner Tui cheered strong demand for core European destinations. Picture: STR/AFP/Getty Images
Thomson owner Tui cheered strong demand for core European destinations. Picture: STR/AFP/Getty Images
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Thomson owner Tui has said British holidaymakers have shrugged off the soaring cost of overseas trips from the Brexit-hit pound as summer bookings held firm.

The group said UK bookings were “as high as the previous year”, while customer numbers lifted 5% in the third quarter thanks to the later timing of Easter.

Tui also cheered strong demand for core European destinations after it switched away from Turkey and upped its group-wide sales outlook for the year.

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It is expecting annual turnover to rise by more than 3 per cent, while Tui also said it made an underlying profit for the first time over the first nine months of its financial year – a period that traditionally sees seasonal losses.

Chief executive Fritz Joussen said the group was in “excellent shape”.

He added: “We have significantly reduced the seasonal swing of our business. For the first time, we have delivered a positive operating result for the first nine months of a financial year.”

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The group confirmed it expects annual underlying earnings to rise by at least 10 per cent, having notched up a 37.7 per cent surge to €221.6 million (£200m) in its third quarter, thanks to a boost from Easter and the impact of the weak pound on UK sales.

With this stripped out, third-quarter earnings rose by 18.7 per cent to €191m.

Tui delivered nine-month earnings of €7.3m against losses of €45.5m a year earlier. It benefited from swift moves away from Egypt and Turkey following terrorist attacks in recent years, with security-conscious holidaymakers opting instead for destinations such as Greece, Spain, the Cape Verde Islands and long-haul holidays.

• READ MORE: Thomson brand to be phased out by owners Tui

The firm also confirmed it will start to roll out its Tui rebrand in the UK from the autumn, which will see it bring all brands under the group logo – marking the end of Thomson and First Choice as separate brands.

The UK is the last of its markets to see the rebrand, which was announced in 2015.

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