DiTUI has the European travel business cornered. Through its tourism umbrella of companies, TUI holds a majority stake in TUI Travel, which sells leisure travel packages and provides other travel services under some 200 brands in some 20 countries. TUI Travel & Resorts' hotel portfolio counts around 250 hotels in about 30 countries. (Hotel brands include Riu, Grecotel, and Dorfhotel.) The company's cruise segment includes subsidiary Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, a leading provider of discovery and luxury cruises to the German market, and TUI Cruises, a joint venture with Royal Caribbean Cruises. The travel company also owns a majority stake in container ship operator Hapag-Lloyd AG.
The company's revenues (turnover) for fiscal year-end 2011 (ends September) increased by 7% compared to the prior year. Also, operating earnings for that same year gained ground by 2% versus the prior year. TUI substantially reduced its debt load from €2.3 billion ($3.1 billion) in 2010 to €816.7 million ($1.1 billion) in 2011. This was accomplished by the improvement in working capital in the TUI Travel business and the lower cash flow impact from restructuring costs. Also, payments from its investment in Hapag-Lloyd further reduced debt and the restructuring of loan payments to lower interest rates.
As for its segments, the company's TUI Travel, which accounted for around 95% of revenues in 2011, increased by 7% in 2011 compared to 2010. Its hotels & resorts segment gained by close to 3% in 2011 versus the prior year. The company's cruise ship operations gained good ground by some 12% in 2011.
Great Britain, Germany, and the other EU countries accounted for about 90% of revenues (turnover) in 2011. Great Britain and Germany represented 29% and 27% of revenues, respectively.
TUI and Hapag-Lloyd's other owner are exploring taking the container ship operator public. A public offering would mark TUI's exit from the economically sensitive container shipping business, something the travel company has been seeking since it sold it a majority stake in the business in 2009. TUI has said it may use the proceeds from the sale of Hapag-Lloyd to add to its 55% stake in TUI Travel. In addition to entertaining an IPO, TUI is selling a roughly 17% stake in Hapag-Lloyd to majority owner Albert Ballin, a consortium of investors that purchased a controlling stake in the container business in 2009. TUI is selling its stake for roughly €475 million ($640 million) and will leave it with a remaining 22% stake in Hapag-Lloyd. The company had aimed to undertake the IPO during 2011, however, the deals was postponed due to the weakened global equity markets.
S-Group Travel Holding GmbH owns about 25% of TUI AG. Activist TUI shareholder John Fredriksen owns about 15% of the company. – less