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TUI Swings To Surprise Net Profit

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German travel and tourism group TUI reported an unexpected net profit for the 2012/13 financial year and said it would resume dividend payments.

The group on Wednesday reported full-year net profit after minorities of EUR€4.3 million (USD$5.9 million).

TUI, which owns 54.48 percent of Europe's largest tour operator TUI Travel, said the better than expected result was down to the oneTUI restructuring begun by new chief executive Friedrich Joussen.

Joussen announced in May plans to restructure its loss-making cruise and hotel operations as part of a drive aimed at resuming dividends for the 2014/15 business year.

TUI said on Tuesday it was already in a position to pay a dividend of €0.15 per share for the 2012/13 year, its first since 2007.

"Our good operating results and virtually debt-free balance sheet enable us to pay a dividend to our shareholders earlier than promised," Joussen said in a statement on Wednesday.

Robust results from TUI Travel also helped. TUI Travel last week reported full-year underlying operating profit up 13 percent as customers in Britain and Germany spent more on holidays.

The group called off merger talks with TUI Travel in early 2013, though a move by shareholder John Fredriksen to increase his stake in TUI AG last month has led to speculation a transaction could be revived.

TUI took one-off charges of EUR€57 million related to the restructuring, including measures such as writing down the Castelfalfi resort in Italy, provisions for its Hapag-Lloyd cruise business and the costs of job cuts at its headquarters.

It said it expected turnover to rise 2-4 percent in the current financial year to end September 2014, while underlying earnings before interest, tax and amortization (EBITA) would increase by 6-12 percent from the EUR€762 million reported for 2012/13.


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