As expected, the TUI Group achieved a considerable increase in its operating performance in the second quarter of financial year 2011/12. Turnover grew by 7 per cent to 3.3 billion euros (previous year 3.1 billion euros). The operating earnings (underlying EBITA) amounted to a seasonal loss of  224 million euros (previous year -256 million euros), an improvement of 12 per cent on prior year.

The key drivers for the earnings position are the very strong performance of TUI Hotels & Resorts, the positive trading performance of TUI UK and a recovery of demand for North African holidays.

The seasonally negative Group result amounted to -266 million euros for the second quarter (previous year -209 million euros). This development primarily reflects the planned restructuring costs for the French market and a lower at equity contribution from Hapag-Lloyd. Earnings per share declined from -0.60 euros to -0.76 euros. Net debt was reduced by 700 million euros to around 2 billion euros versus the prior year (previous year 2.7 billion euros).

Accumulated Group turnover for the first half of the financial year grew by almost 6 per cent to 6.7 billion euros (previous year 6.4 billion euros). At a seasonal loss of 372 million euros, the operating result was slightly up year-on-year (previous year -375 million euros). The Group result for the first half of the year totalled -403 million euros (previous year -304 million euros).

TUI’s Executive Board has confirmed its expectations concerning an overall positive development for the current financial year. Turnover is expected to rise moderately, with operating results expected to improve slightly on prior year. Overall, the Executive Board expects the Group result to be positive for the overall financial year.

Detailed development of TUI Travel
In the second quarter, turnover by TUI Travel rose by 6.6 per cent to 3.1 billion euros (previous year 2.9 billion euros). This growth is attributable to higher sales of exclusive product and the passing on of cost increases to customers. The seasonal operating loss (underlying EBITA) declined by almost 16 million euros to 256 million euros (previous year -272 million euros). The improvement was driven by various factors including a sound trading performance of TUI UK, a recovery of demand for travel to North Africa in most source markets and the earlier timing of Easter.

TUI Travel ‘s performance was adversely impacted by a decline in demand for Thailand, a key destination, in the Scandinavian market due to the flooding. Moreover, most of the Divisions of the Specialist & Activity Business delivered a weaker performance versus the prior year.

In the first half of the year, TUI Travel recorded turnover growth of around 6 per cent to 6.4 billion euros (previous year 6.1 billion euros). Accumulated operating results for the first half of the financial year amounted to a seasonal loss of 386 million euros (previous year -384 million euros).

Detailed development of TUI Hotels & Resorts
The performance of the Group’s hotel business improved year-on-year in the second quarter. Total turnover by the Sector climbed by 3 per cent to 190 million euros (previous year 184 million euros). The operating result rose by around 16 million euros to 42 million euros (previous year 26 million euros). This growth is mainly driven by two factors: Riu, the largest hotel brand, benefited from a positive price performance and successful cost management. TUI Hotels & Resorts additionally benefited from a recovery of demand for North African holidays.

Accumulated turnover for the first half of the year rose by almost 7 per cent to 371 million euros (previous year 349 million euros) in TUI Hotels & Resorts. The operating result grew by 53 per cent to 55 million euros (previous year 36 million euros).

Detailed development of Cruises
The performance of the two brands of the Group’s Cruises Sector, Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten and TUI Cruises (at equity measurement; no turnover recognition) varied in the period under review. In the second quarter, turnover amounted to 62 million euros, up from 56 million in the previous year. The prior year comparatives had been affected by turnover losses caused by an unscheduled dry-dock period of MS Europa. Underlying EBITA rose slightly on prior year in the second quarter of the financial year to around 3 million euros (previous year 2 million euros).

Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten recorded an improvement in its load factor of 4.6 per-centage points to 75.8 per cent (previous year 71.2 per cent). At 426 euros, the average rate per passenger per day was slightly down year-on-year (previous year 438 euros). This was due to marketing measures in connection with the fleet expansion.

TUI Cruises continued its positive development in the period under review. Its fleet delivered an increased load factor of 99.5 per cent. The average rate per passenger per day rose from 118 euros to 128 euros.

For the first half of the year, the Cruises Sector reported growth in accumulated turnover of almost 6 per cent to 102 million euros (previous year 97 million euros). The operating result declined from -3 million euros to around -6 million euros.
 
Development of Hapag-Lloyd
The performance of Hapag-Lloyd was mainly characterised by a considerable rise in fuel costs and persistently fierce competition. The substantial cost increases have not yet been offset by adequate rates. Hapag-Lloyd’s at equity result included in the TUI’s Group result for the second quarter totalled -50 million euros (previous year -13 million euros). However, the rate increases recently announced by many container lines provide cause for optimism.