(Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

TUI Travel revealed that profits rose in the third quarter this year as budget conscious Europeans flocked to the world's largest tour operator to snap up fixed-price summer holidays.

The group posted a 3% increase in operating profit and racked up a rise in underlying profit, to £76m (€87.9m, $116.7m) year-on-year, compared to the £74m in 2012.

TUI Travel, which owns the Thomson and First Choice brands, attributed the rise in profit to an average 7% surge in 2013 summer booking volumes. British sales in fixed-price summer holiday booking rose 4%.

"Our strategy of offering our customers unique holiday experiences continues to drive sustainable growth. Our strong brands and market leadership position are fundamental in achieving this strategy," said Peter Long, chief executive of TUI Travel in a statement.

"The flexibility and robustness of our business model enables us to more effectively absorb the impacts of geopolitical events. We are well positioned to continue delivering our five year growth road map."

The travel giant said it remains confident that it will deliver up to 10% growth by the end of this year.

TUI Travel Goes Into a Tailspin

TUI Travel, which owns six European airlines, posted a 5% increase in the revenue, reaching £3.86m at the end of its third quarter. TUI Travel was formed after the First Choice Holidays and the Thomson tourism unit of German group TUI merged together in 2007.

However, TUI shares went into a tailspin during afternoon trading, after plummeting over 5% to 381.30p.

Last month, the company revealed that it has received approval from its shareholders to buy 60 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, as a part of its fleet renewal strategy.

TUI Travel said that the "delivery period for the 60 committed aircraft will start in January 2018 and will run until March 2023".