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TUI Group sticks to forecasts despite hot summer

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LONDON (Reuters) – European holiday company TUI Group <TUIT.L> said it was on track to meet its forecasts for earnings growth, shrugging off the impact of a hot summer in its main customer markets which rival Thomas Cook <TCG.L> said had dented demand for holidays.

TUI stuck to its guidance for underlying earnings to rise at least 10 percent at constant currency this year, and said that trading for the coming winter and summer seasons was in line with its expectations.

“The number of customers purchasing holidays from us has grown in all major markets, even with the sustained period of hot weather in Northern Europe this summer,” TUI’s CEO Friedrich Joussen said in a statement on Thursday.

Thomas Cook <TCG.L>, TUI’s smaller rival, downgraded its profit outlook on Monday as it said the hot weather hit demand in the most profitable part of the summer season and was also hurting winter trading, sending its shares plunging.

TUI’s chief executive had warned in August that the heatwave might prevent it from beating forecasts but had not pushed it off course. It makes most of its profit in the summer season when customers in northern Europe seek warmer weather in southern Europe and elsewhere.

TUI owns more of its hotels and resorts than Thomas Cook and has a bigger exposure to cruise ship holidays, a structure which has in the past helped protect its profit margins during times when trading becomes more difficult.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton)

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