By Ian Walker
TUI AG on Tuesday widened its full-year profit forecast due to the grounding of Boeing Co.’s /zigman2/quotes/208579720/composite BA +6.83% 737 MAX aircraft, as it reported a slightly narrowed net loss for the first quarter of the fiscal year.
The FTSE 100-listed, Germany-based travel group /zigman2/quotes/206714402/delayed DE:TUI1 +2.58% made a net loss of 128.7 million euros ($142.7 million) for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2019 compared with a loss of EUR139.3 million for the same period a year earlier. Turnover for the quarter rose to EUR3.85 billion, compared with EUR3.57 billion a year ago.
Underlying loss before interest, taxes — the company’s preferred metric which strips out exceptional and other one-off items — was EUR146.9 million compared with a loss of EUR83.1 million.
The company said it now expects underlying earnings before interest and taxes to be between EUR850 million and EUR1.05 billion for the year, compared with previous guidance of EUR950 million to EUR1.05 billion.
Still, it said that based on recent guidance from Boeing on the expected return to service of the 737 MAX it has narrowed the expected cost range to between EUR220 million to EUR245 million, compared with previous guidance of EUR220 million to EUR270 million.
Boeing has said the 737 MAX is expected to return to commercial service by the middle of this year.
TUI said that in terms of booking trends the year has started “exceptionally well,” with the U.K. delivering its best booking volumes month in the company’s history.