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MENAFN - AFP - 04/12/2012

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(MENAFN - AFP) TUI Travel, Europe's biggest tour operator, said Tuesday that annual net profits rallied 62 percent, boosted by deep cost-cutting and keen demand in Britain, the Nordic region, Belgium and Canada.

Earnings after taxation hit 138 million (222 million, 170 million euros) in the year to September 30, compared with 85 million in the previous 2010/2011 financial year. Pretax profits meanwhile jumped 40 percent to 201 million.

The London-listed holiday firm added however that revenues slid two percent to 14.46 billion, hit by unfavourable foreign exchange movements and the impact of unrest in the Middle East.

TUI Travel added that annual profits were "driven by strong performances in the UK, Nordic region, Belgium, and Canada as well as the delivery of 42-million cost savings through the business improvement programme."

However, it also sounded caution over the outlook for the troubled holiday market in France.

"Overall trading remains positive across all our major source markets with the exception of France where the environment remains extremely challenging," TUI Travel added.

"Strong trading momentum from Summer 2012 has continued into Winter 2012/13, particularly in the UK and the Nordics, where our unique holidays are selling well and growth in our direct distribution channels continues to have a positive effect on margins.

"While still early in the booking cycle, the Summer 2013 programme, in the UK, Nordics and Germany is showing strong signs of growth with additional capacity in the UK and Nordics."

However, TUI Travel's French division posted an operational annual loss of 47 million. That marked a slight improvement after a shortfall of 53 million in the previous year.

The group blamed weak demand for destinations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region -- particularly in Egypt, Tunisia and Moroc


 






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