First Choice has enjoyed a 27% increase in its long-haul sales, according to a trading statement published earlier today.

The company, which is due to merge with TUI in September, said it had increased capacity on its long-haul holidays by 25%, while cutting short-haul.

First Choice had less spare capacity compared with 2006, the company said. “Given the continued strong demand, we have less capacity left to sell for the remainder of the season compared with last year.

“Despite the encouraging rate of sale, margins continue to be adversely affected by higher APD taxes and the year-on-year increase in fuel costs.”

The firm’s online brands have also enjoyed sizable growth. Overall, sales for, and are up 42%. Meanwhile, increased by 61% on 2006.

The company did not offer its revenues in value terms.