Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Tui delivers record results in run-up to potential London exit

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Tui reported a surprise profit and record revenues in the Christmas quarter, as investors in Europe’s biggest travel operator prepare to vote on plans to delist the company from the London Stock Exchange.

The executive and supervisory board of Tui, which is listed on the FTSE 250 and in Frankfurt, has recommended that shareholders vote in favour of a single listing in Germany at the company’s annual general meeting on Tuesday.

The company decided to vote on the delisting, which requires a majority of 75% of votes at the AGM, after shareholders suggested a shift to Germany could lower costs and provide “support for EU airline ownership”.

Tui has said about 77% of share transactions are settled directly via the German share register, while less than a quarter of trading in Tui shares is in the form of UK depositary interests.

If shareholders approve the plans it would be seen as a further blow to the reputation of the London Stock Exchange.

Last month, the betting company Flutter listed in New York and said it would switch its primary listing from London, with shareholders due to vote on the proposal in May.

Last year, the Cambridge-based chip designer Arm, one of the UK’s few bona fide global tech success stories, snubbed London in favour of floating on the Nasdaq in New York, in one of the biggest initial public offering in recent years.

Tui’s vote on its future listing arrangements comes as the company reported an unexpected profit of €6m in the final quarter of last year, compared with a loss of €153m in the same period in 2022.

Revenues soared 15% year-on-year to €4.3bn, a record for the quarter, which the company said was driven by higher demand at improved prices and rates.

Sebastian Ebel, the chief executive of Tui, said: “People’s willingness to travel is still high, despite a market environment that remains challenging. We are on track, we are gaining customers and we are growing. We are accelerating our transformation quarter by quarter.”

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Tui, which cut its debt from €5.3bn to €4bn by the end of last year, maintained its full-year forecast of a 10% increase in revenues and a 25% uplift in profits.

The company said winter and summer bookings were up 8% year on year, and average prices were up 4%. Tui has 9.4m bookings for winter and summer combined, up on 8.7m last year.

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