Belfast Telegraph

Heatwave puts dent in Thomson

Thomson and First Choice parent TUI Travel said the recent heatwave knocked UK sales growth, but insisted summer trading was strong thanks to growing consumer confidence.

Europe's biggest tour operator said UK sales rose 11%, boosted by a 4% increase in customer numbers and a 7% rise in prices – setting it on course to grow annual profits by at least 10%.

But it saw a slowdown on the 13% UK sales growth in May, when UK customer numbers were running 7% higher.

Chief executive Peter Long said consumer confidence is "clearly looking much more positive".

TUI said its UK summer sales were ahead of the market, with fuller planes, stronger margins and capacity up 4%. It has sold 86% of its summer programme in the UK, while summer sales across the group are 84% sold.

Mr Long said: "We don't believe customers are going to fundamentally change their holiday plans.

"Having nice weather reconfirms why you want to take your overseas holiday."

Belfast Telegraph