Cruise and hotel bookings boost Tui profits for third year

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A rise in hotel and cruise bookings has helped European travel group Tui sail through another year with more than 10% growth in profits.

It said next year, profits would grow a similar amount as customers also bought more excursions and holiday activities.

Tui has seen double-digit growth for the last three years.

Last month, smaller UK rival Thomas Cook reported a loss of £163m, blaming warmer summer weather for lower numbers of bookings.

“Our own holiday experiences content accounts for more than 70% of our earnings: hotels, cruises, excursions and destination activities. This enables us to clearly differentiate ourselves from the competition,” said Fritz Joussen, Tui’s chief executive.

Tui Group posted a 10.9% rise in annual earnings, just ahead of analysts’ forecasts.

Tui said the “challenging market”, including uncertainty from Brexit and tough competition between airlines, had squeezed consumer spending. Earnings were nearly 15% lower for the group’s tour operator and airline business.

But there was strong growth in demand for cruises, hotels and holiday “experiences”, which together account for 70% of Tui’s earnings. The firm said customers were paying more for extra activities while at their holiday destination, such as jungle trails, city tours and cultural experiences.