TUI Travel, the world's largest tour operator, on Wednesday declared it was "very confident" of hitting its target to increase underlying operating profit by 10 per cent in 2012-13.
The group said that 84 per cent of their summer 2013 holidays were already sold and it has seen an "encouraging" start to trading for the winter season.
UK sales for the summer season were up 11 per cent during the three months to 30 June compared with the same period last year, slowing from the 13 per cent year-on-year increase it reported in May.
The owner of Thomson and First Choice said that UK summer holiday bookings were up four per cent, with average selling prices seven per cent ahead, despite concerns that the July heatwave may have deterred people from going away.
However, total bookings were down two per cent, hit by weakness in Germany and France, which fell five and 22 per cent respectively, with the company saying it was reshaping its French programme, partly by reducing its emphasis on North African destinations.
Tui Travel reported revenue of £3.9bn for the three months to June 30, up 5 per cent compared with the same time last year, and partly boosted by favourable currency movements. Underlying operating profit rose 18 per cent to £87m, supported by a cost-saving programme.
For the nine months to June 30, the company reported revenue of £9.3bn, up 1 per cent, and a pre-tax loss of £369m. This was an improvement on the £454m pre-tax loss recorded in the first nine months of 2011-12.
Tui serves more than 30 million customers in 31 markets around the world and employs about 54,000 people.
Rival travel group Thomas Cook last week reported its first third-quarter profit since staving off bankruptcy in 2011 and said it had sold about 85 per cent of its planned capacity for the summer 2013 season.
For more information on TUI Travel, see the latest research: TUI Travel
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