StockMarketWire.com - Travel company TUI booked a first-quarter loss as the grounding of Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft continued to weigh during what is a traditionally quieter seasonal period for the European tourism sector.

Net losses for the three months through December amounted to €105.5m, compared to losses of €112.1m on-year.

Revenue rose 7.7% to €3.85bn, while underlying operating losses widened to €146.9m, from a losses of €83.1m.

TUI said it saw improved booking trends for its winter programme, driving a good underlying result in its markets and airlines business.

Excluding the effects of the 737 Max grounding, and the non-repeat of a hedging gain from prior year, underlying EBIT for markets and airlines improved 14% on-year.

Holiday experiences, however, recorded a weaker result, with improved occupancy and average revenues at hotels and resorts offset by a higher cost base and FX losses from the devaluation of Turkish Lira.

Additionally, there were higher fuel costs for the company's cruise business and accelerated investments in a new digital platform.

TUI said it was now expecting a high single-digit percentage turnover growth for the full year, up from previous guidance of mid-to-high single-digit percentage growth.

The company also updated its underlying earnings before interest and tax guidance for the year to a range of around €850m-to-€1.05bn, after accounting for the continued 737 MAX grounding.

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