TUI Travel’s parent company, German-based TUI AG, plans to dispose of the final remaining part of its non-tourism business.

The group will seek a buyer for container-shipping line Hapag-Lloyd, marking the end of the twin-pillar strategy of TUI chairman Michael Frenzel who sought to retain the Hamburg-based shipping business while building Europe’s largest travel group.

In a statement, the TUI board said: “All options, including a spin-off, merger or divestment are going to be examined.”

TUI AG reported a 47% increase in annual profits to Euro616 million for 2007 in a separate financial report to that of the tourism group. The figure includes the profits from TUI Travel.

The Hapag-Lloyd shipping line is the last element of the former transport and heavy industry empire known as Preussag that bought Thomson Travel Group in 2000 and changed its name to TUI in 2002.

Analysts suggested Hapag-Lloyd may not be easy to sell amid the current market uncertainty.