Tui warns Brexit will hit travel giant’s profits

Travel giant Tui expects the decision to leave the European Union to cause a dent to its profits because of the fall in the pound, however the operator is not expecting to see a big shift in travel habits.

Chief financial officer Horst Baier told Germany’s Boersen Zeitung newspaper that the company had hedged against currency volatility and the oil price for the 2016/17 financial year. Tui makes about a third of its turnover in the UK.
“There are no real risks relevant to results because of the (Brexit) decision for the current financial year. However, because of the translation effect from pounds to euros, we will feel an effect in the profit-and-loss account,” he said.
Baier said that a sustained weakening of the pound would hit purchasing power, making holidays abroad more expensive, but he doubted whether that would dampen the love of travel among British holidaymakers.
“Even if Britain is an important market for us, we are a globally active company. And the growth prospects for global tourism are very positive. So we are confident that we can keep the impact small,” he was reported by Reuters as saying.
Tui said in May that bookings for the summer were 1% ahead of last year and demand for holidays was strong.
That contrasted with warnings from airlines that terrorist attacks in Paris in November and in Brussels in March has hit demand for flights.
Airlines had also warned that a Brexit vote could lead to a slide in demand for leisure and business travel, though analysts say that a fall in the pound could make leisure travel to the UK more attractive.
Baier reiterated that Brexit would not affect the Tui’s London listing, which was created in 2014 by the merger of Tui Travel and German majority owner Tui AG.
“London will remain an important financial centre in future,” he said

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