Tui Group saw turnover climb by 9.1 per cent in the three months to December when compared to the previous year.
At the same time, customer numbers at the tour operator grew by 4.4 per cent year-on-year.
Tui reduced its debt position year-on-year from €1.52 billion to €874 million.
This was helped by the €38 million gain from selling three Riu hotels.
However, the business took a €20 million hit from the bankruptcy of Austrian budget airline Niki to which Tui had leased aircraft and crew.
Overall, this meant underlying losses for the first quarter shrank to €24.5 million from €60.3 million in the same period of last year.
“Quarter one of 2018 has shown that TUI is on track, we continue to grow.
“Following three consecutive years of double-digit earnings growth, we are aiming to deliver similarly strong growth in 2018.
“That is why we are delighted about our very good quarter one performance,” said TUI Group chief extrusive Fritz Joussen.
In the first quarter (1 October to 31 December 2017), companies operating in the tourism sector record an underlying EBITA loss reflecting the typical seasonality of the sector.
“While we used to be a trading company, we have now become developers, investors, and operators.
“This makes TUI more profitable, and we now generate our earnings more evenly across twelve months,” said Joussen.
“In the completed financial year, our hotels, cruise businesses and destination services delivered 59 per cent of our underlying earnings.”
TUI aims to increase its turnover and earnings in particular at TUI Destination Services, which looks after TUI customers and pools all services such as transfers, activities and excursions in the holiday destinations.
The sector has been defined as one of TUI’s strategic growth areas.
“Here, we see great potential to grow through the strength and comprehensive presence of the TUI brand,” continued Joussen.
TUI Destination Services organises 24 million transfers and 4.6 million excursions and tours for more than 12 million customers of the group every year.
The sector is growing and operates in 115 destinations worldwide with around 1,000 vehicles and 6,500 employees.