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TUI AG and listed subsidiary TUI Travel plc to merge

The German travel group TUI AG and TUI Travel plc, the London based listed tour company in which the German company is the biggest shareholder, will merge. The merged company would be called TUI AG and it would be domiciled in Germany and listed on both London and Frankfurt stock exchanges.

“If the Merger is consummated, it would bring together the content portfolio of hotels and cruise ships of TUI AG with access to customers through the distribution capability and unique holiday concepts of TUI Travel,” TUI AG said in a statement.

TUI AG owns Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten, the German destinational to luxury cruise operator in full and has a 50% stake in TUI Cruises, the Hamburg based premium market operator. TUI Travel owns Thomson Cruises with five ships that cater for the UK market plus Quark Expeditions, the boutique cruise brand. It is also the owner of  Intercruises, the shoreside services provider to the cruise industry. Both copmpanies' travel shops are major retailers of cruises in Europe.

The merger would create a pure play integrated leisure travel Group that is a global leader, capable of delivering a complete end-to-end customer experience, thereby significantly enhancing the Group’s growth opportunities and capability for delivering material financial benefits.

TUI AG owns the most recognised travel brand in Europe. With over 230 hotels and more than 155,000 beds it is Europe’s largest holiday hotelier while its cruise operation is one of Europe’s most successful. Having rationalised its businesses through oneTUI it has ambitious growth plans to double the size of its content.

TUI Travel’s leisure tourism business operates as a single organisation across Europe with a portfolio of tour operator brands servicing more than 30 million customers. Having differentiated itself from the rest of the industry, its growth is focused on the continued development of unique holidays, which are available exclusively through its brands, distributed directly through its own channels with significant numbers of its customers flying on its modern holiday airline fleet.

Meyer Werft targets order for two major cruise ships – report

Joseph L. Meyer Werft, the German privately owned shipbuilder that is a leading builder of cruise liners, is close to winning an order for two major cruise ships, a German media report says.

“It concerns options for the construction of two further cruise liners. Therefore, the deal is not finalised yet,” the Ostfriesen Zeitung daily reported on its website. The planned vessels would be completed in 2018 and 2019.

The paper cited talks between the management and staff of the shipbuilder that were held earlier this week

At the moment, Meyer Werft is building two 163,000 gross ton Breakway plus class ships for Norwegian Cruise Line, the Miami based contemporary market operator, three 167,800 gross ton Quantum class vessels for Royal Caribbean International, the contemporary market unit of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL) and two ships for Star Cruises.

Carnival extends losses at London opening on Caribbean woes

Shares in Carnival plc, the UK based holding company in Carnival Corp & plc group, extended losses on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday morning after the dual listed Anglo-American company had on Tuesday warned of weakness in pricing in the Caribbean in the third quarter of its financial year.

Carnival plc fell about 2% in early London trading to £22.55. On Tuesday, they closed 1.6% lower at £22.76. In NewYork, Casrnival Corporation, the Panama domiciled and US based holding company fell 2.99% to close at $38.26

“Third quarter constant dollar net revenue yields are expected to be flat to down 1% compared to the prior year due primarily to a significant industry capacity increase in the Caribbean. Net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD for the third quarter are expected to be 1% to 2% higher on a constant dollar basis compared to the prior year,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday

“Based on the above factors, the company expects non-GAAP diluted earnings for the third quarter 2014 to be in the range of $1.38 to $1.44 per share versus 2013 non-GAAP earnings of $1.38 per share,” Carnival said.

Carnival shares fall in London and New York after interims

Shares in the two Carnival group holding companies fell on the stock markets in London and New York respectively after the company had published interim results for the second quarter of its financial year.

Carnival plc, the UK based and listed company, lost 1.56% to trade at £22.77 in late afternoon, local time. Shares in Carnival Corporation, the US listed and Panama domiciled company, saw its shares to fall 2.79% to trade at $38.31 in early morning, local time.

Both the FTSE100 leading share index in London and Dow Jones in New York  had posted slight falls at the same time.

Carnival raises 2014 financial year non-GAAP EPS estimate to $1.60-$1.75

Carnival Corp & plc, the world’s largest cruise shipping group, says it has increased its full year 2014 non- GAAP diluted earnings per share guidance to be in the range of $1.60 to $1.75 from the $1.50 to $1.70 range it forecast in march.

The Anglo-American company said total revenues are expected to be higher for the full year 2014 compared to the prior year. The company continues to expect full year 2014 net revenue yields on a constant dollar basis to be down slightly compared to the prior year (flat to up slightly on a current dollar basis).

The company now expects full year 2014 net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD to be flat to up slightly compared to the prior year on a constant dollar basis, which is better than had been anticipated in the March guidance. However, changes in fuel prices and currency exchange rates have reduced full year 2014 forecasted earnings by $0.06 per share compared to March guidance.