Tour operator deeper in red on Arab Spring

Tour operator deeper in red on Arab Spring

FRANKFURT-Agence France-Presse
Tour operator deeper in red on Arab Spring

Tourists enjoy the beach in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. TUI says North Africa unrest hits business. AFP photo

German tourism giant TUI said Wednesday its losses widened in its first quarter owing to weaker demand for travel to destinations in North Africa as a result of the popular unrest there.

TUI, which runs its business year to September, said it booked a net loss of 87.6 million euros ($115 million) in the three months to December.

In the same period a year earlier, the loss stood at 46.4 million euros.

Underlying earnings also deteriorated, with a loss before interest, tax and amortization widening to 147.3 million euros in the October-December period from 119.6 million euros a year earlier.

At the same time, revenues increased 4.9 percent to 3.45 billion euros.

“The first quarter was very much in line with our expectations,” TUI said.

“The year-earlier numbers were not affected by the unrest in North Africa.”

Looking ahead, TUI said it was sticking to its forecast for a “positive after-tax result, a slight improvement in underlying earnings and a moderate increase in sales.”

“Weaker demand for destinations in North Africa in the first quarter were expected and had been calculated into our planning for the year,” it said.