The travel sector will be in sharp focus next week when tour operators TUI Travel and Thomas Cook deliver full-year results, with figures also due from two players in the UK pub market.
Two major travel companies will post their annual results and provide an insight into the health of the industry after a turbulent year.
Disruption caused by Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud earlier in the year, as well as a period of good British weather and the World Cup over the summer, all hit demand for overseas travel.
But Thomson Holidays owner TUI Travel, which reports its final results on Thursday, saw a pick-up in trade towards the end of the summer, which was enough for the company to reaffirm its confidence in meeting full-year expectations.
The group previously said its summer programmes, which ran to the end of October, were sold out after a late rush of bookings towards the end of the season.
The company had been concerned conditions in the market earlier in the year would hit profitability, but analysts said the firm has since experienced a turnaround, though profits are expected to be considerably down on last year. Consensus figures for underlying earnings are £441 million, against £443 million last year.
With Government spending cuts expected to hit consumer confidence, the City will be looking for an update on winter holiday and Summer 2011 bookings.
TUI has expanded its portfolio of holidays to draw in new customers and has also launched new concepts such as Thomson Couples – holidays aimed solely at adults.
Wyn Ellis, analyst at Numis Securities, has held its forecast for £330.7 million in pre-tax profits, down on £366 million last year, after a “solid end” to summer trading.
He said: “Demand has held up well over the summer and TUI appears to be encouraged by the apparent return of consumer confidence.”