Kuoni Group saw operating earnings drop in the first nine months of the year, while describing the global business environment as remaining “very demanding”.

Earnings were down to CHF [Swiss franc] 65 million from CHF 79 million in the same period last year. However, net profit was up from CHF 1.5 million to CHF 52.5 million in the period to September 30.

The Swiss-based company confirmed that it was in profit during the summer quarter but said: “The global business environment remains very demanding.

“For the 2014 financial year as a whole, Kuoni Group expects operating earnings (EBIT) in the range of CHF 85-95 million and net profit at around the previous year’s level.”

Kuoni added: “:Despite travel warnings for important destinations in Kenya and Thailand, results in the UK market matched the prior year’s.”

Chief executive Peter Meier said: “The FIT business posted positive growth, with hotel room nights booked topping the 10 million mark after nine months for the first time.

“The market situation in Scandinavia remains difficult, though we have managed to stabilise average sales prices.

“Visa services provider VFS Global reported healthy growth and achieved a significant improvement in operating results.

“The business environment hasn’t changed much in recent months and remains very challenging.”