A post-close trading update this week offered no insight into the future of the B2C businesses, but when mentioning the pair alongside LateRooms, TUI Travel CEO Peter Long told analysts how they had performed over the financial year to end-Sept::
“We’ve seen a good performance within our UK business. We did have issues last year with regard to the implementation of a new system. Our platform wasn’t mobile-enabled but we’ve done a lot of work and we now have a very good mobile site.
“We’re seeing a lot of benefits come through to the UK and the moneys and improvements are being invested in the two developing markets of Asia and Brazil.”
Later on he was asked specifically about Asia and Brazil. “We’re in a development stage,” he says. “They are loss-making at this stage as we look to build scale.”
CFO Will Waggott added that “there will be bit of growth out of Brazil, little growth from Asia as we look to stabilise the businesses by moving them onto the laterooms platform”.
The business bought Malapronta two years ago, so there is still time for TUI build profitability and scale, although it will be interesting when the full results are released in December whether malapronta.com saw any World Cup uplift.
AsiaRooms on the other hand “has been operating online since 1994″ according to its about us page, so the fact that this business remains in the red might raise some eyebrows.
TUI’s B2B businesses fall within its specialist unit. As part of TUI Travel’s proposed merger with German business TUI AG, all brands within the specialist unit are under review. Last month TUI Travel told the markets that it was considering the future of brands within this unit. “Growth, sales, IPOs” are all a possibility.
NB: Beach image by Shutterstock