TUI Group to shake up cruises and airlines after merger

By ,   February 13, 2015 ,   Cruise Industry

TUI Group plans to restructure its cruise businesses and airline brands and drive more on-line bookings to create a tourism group with over $20 billion annual sales.

The company was formed in December following the merger of German majority owner TUI AG and London-listed TUI Travel. Shareholders welcomed the merger as the combined company could cut down on overlapping functions.

After TUI published its first quarter results on Tuesday, Peter Long (Co-Chief Executive of the company) told analysts that they were very clear on what they wanted to achieve, and would be refining those thoughts over the next few months. 

Management said they were working to organize better TUI 5-charter airline brands, which have 140 airplanes and together would be the seventh largest airline in Europe. The company also wants to modernize the British Thomson Cruises and create new ways to boost on-line bookings.

Improving profits at TUI hotels and cruise divisions in the first quarter, helped the company narrow its EBITA (underlying loss before interest, tax, and amortisation) to 107.9 mill euros ($122 mill) from 141.1 mill a year earlier.

According to Ingo Speich, portfolio manager at TUI shareholder Union Investment, "Growth chances have improved thanks to the merger," as he said at TUI AG annual shareholders' meeting that took place on February 10 in Hanover.

More details of the strategic measures will be revealed on May 13, when TUI Group publishes its half-year results.