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Tui reported strong revenues for the last three months of 2023 in a sign that the post-pandemic travel boom was retaining its momentum, ahead of a vote at Europe’s largest tour operator over delisting from London.
The Anglo-German travel group — which is listed in both London and Frankfurt — said on Tuesday that it increased sales to €4.3bn in the three months to December, up 15 per cent year on year despite cost of living pressures hurting consumers. It reported underlying earnings before interest and tax of €6mn in the quarter.
Tui attributed its growth to “more customers and higher prices” as demand for travel remained strong over the winter season while the group’s average prices rose 4 per cent above the previous year’s level. “We are on track, we are gaining customers and we are growing,” said chief executive Sebastian Ebel. “People’s high willingness to travel ensures strong economic development in all areas [of the company].”
Tui shareholders will later on Tuesday vote on a proposal to delist from London and stay in Frankfurt, dealing another blow to the capital’s struggling stock market. The resolution requires the support of 75 per cent of shareholders to pass.
If it proceeds with the move, Tui would join a growing list of companies that have recently opted to ditch their London listings in favour of rival exchanges, citing a significant decrease in liquidity on the UK equity market as well as the potential for higher valuations abroad.
In a separate statement this year, the group said that “terminating the listing in London would offer clear advantages for investors and the company”.
UK pollster YouGov and gambling group Flutter are among other companies currently considering cancelling their London listings.
The results announcement sent Tui’s shares up almost 5 per cent on Tuesday, although their price remains about 30 per cent lower than it was one year ago.
The group’s share price performance has been damped down by broader “macro concerns”, said Ivor Jones, analyst at Peel Hunt, noting that conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza were casting a shadow over the post-pandemic recovery of the travel sector. “There is concern about what the conflict in the Middle East means for the price of oil, which is very significant for Tui’s airline fleet,” said Jones.
Tui reiterated its full-year guidance for a rise in revenues of 10 per cent and an increase of 25 per cent in underlying earnings before interest and tax.