By Hilde Messer
FRANKFURT—TUI /zigman2/quotes/206714402/delayed DE:TUI1 -4.48% AG, a holding company with assets in tourism and shipping, on Wednesday reported a smaller net loss for the first quarter of its fiscal year, due to higher demand in Europe's travel sector.
TUI said its first-quarter net loss in the seasonally low winter period narrowed to €46.4 million ($63.3 million) from a €104 million loss in the same period a year earlier. Sales came in at €3.29 billion, an 11% increase in year-to-year terms.
The company maintained its full-year forecast. TUI said it still expects an increase in sales, as well as adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortization, or Ebita, and a positive after-tax profit for the year due to higher passenger volumes and an increase in average prices. It also confirmed it expects a positive profit contribution from container shipping company Hapag-Lloyd, in which it owns a minority stake.
Tour operators like TUI Travel PLC, in which TUI holds a majority stake, and Thomas Cook Group PLC have cancelled tours to some North African destinations due to civil unrest. For the second quarter, TUI expects these cancellations and rebookings of flights and tours to lead to a charge of up to €37 million.
The container-shipping business of Hapag-Lloyd picked up significantly on the year and contributed €18.2 million to the company's result in the first quarter, after hampering earnings by €14.7 million in the comparable period of the previous year.
TUI changed its fiscal year to bring it in line with that of TUI Travel and, after a short financial year for 2009, the company's financial year now runs from October to September.