TUI Travel on Track After Q3 Profits Jump 21 Pct

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LONDON, Aug 8 (Reuters) – TUI Travel, Europe’s biggest tour operator by revenues, looks on track to meet its annual profit growth goal after a 21 percent jump in third quarter profits, powered by sales of higher-margin holidays.

The British company is currently in talks with its 55 percent owner, Germany-based TUI AG, regarding a merger deal worth around 4.4 billion pounds ($7.5 billion) which would create the world’s largest leisure tourism group.

The pair have until Sept. 19 to announce a formal merger proposal.

TUI Travel is targeting 7 to 10 percent growth in underlying operating profit on a constant currency basis for the 12 months to the end of September, but takeover rules prevented it from re-affirming guidance on Friday.

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