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TUI Announces Surprise Dividend For 2012/13

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German tourism and travel group TUI on Tuesday announced plans to resume paying a dividend earlier than expected, proposing a payment of €0.15 (USD$0.21) per share for the financial year 2012/13.

TUI had in May announced a restructuring aimed at cutting costs and restoring dividends by the time the 2014/15 business year ended.

"Due to the positive development of the oneTUI strategy program and its solid balance sheet and funding structures, (TUI) is able to resume payment of a dividend to its shareholders earlier than planned," the company said in a statement ahead of the publication of financial results for its full year through September on Wednesday.

TUI, which owns 54.48 percent of London-listed TUI Travel, has not offered a dividend since paying €0.25 (USD$0.34) per share for 2007.

Last week, TUI Travel reported full-year underlying operating profit up 13 percent to GBP£555 million (USD$904.51 million) on a constant currency basis as customers in Britain and Germany spent more on holidays.

TUI and TUI Travel called off merger talks just under a year ago, saying share price valuations would not result in a fair deal.

TUI shareholder John Fredriksen, a Norwegian shipping magnate, last month increased his stake in TUI to over 20 percent and sold his 5.4 percent stake in TUI Travel. He said he still viewed a merger of the two as an option and that the transaction strengthened his influence at TUI AG.

(Reuters)

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