2018 results

International expansion drives DER Touristik growth

Europe’s third-largest tourism group, DER Touristik, increased revenues by a moderate 3.4% in 2018 as international expansion compensated for a mixed performance in Germany.

DER Touristik generated a 3.4% rise in invoiced revenue to €6.7 billion last year, parent company Rewe Group said on Wednesday as part of its overall financial results. The German retail group does not disclose profits for the tourism business.  

“This development was supported by the internationalisation of DER Touristik,” Rewe Group pointed out. For example, Exim Tours achieved revenue growth of 30.7% in Eastern Europe. With revenue growth of around 20%, the Destination Management Companies, which are responsible for guest services, excursions and hotel procurement, also proved to be particularly successful. No figures were provided for Kuoni UK or the sizeable Scandinavian business.

However, the picture was more mixed in Central Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), where the group generates about two thirds of its revenues but only one third of its profits, as CEO Sören Hartmann told fvw last autumn. On the positive side, the travel agency business increased invoiced revenues by 6% in the 2018 business year, according to Rewe.

In contrast, DER Touristik’s tour operator revenues dropped again in its home market, according to fvw’s recently-published German tour operators dossier. Revenues declined by 1.2% to €2.65 billion on an estimated 5.9% fall in customer numbers to 4.9 million. The market share fell to 7.4%, keeping DER Touristik in third place behind TUI and Thomas Cook. The German tour operator business is currently being restructured and ex-Thomas Cook manager Ingo Burmester is due to take over from René Herzog in May.

There was a similar performance in the three German-speaking markets (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) with a 1.2% fall in revenue to €3.4 billion on an estimated 4.8% drop to 6 million customers, according to the fvw dossier. DER Touristik is number two in Switzerland, where it trades through the Kuoni and Helvetic Tours brands, and is a major player in Austria.

Overall, the Rewe Group increased external revenues by 4.7% to €61.2 billion in 2018 and improved profits strongly.

CEO Lionel Souque declared: “REWE Group is on a healthy growth trajectory, both nationally and internationally. In 2018, we once again profited from our huge investments made in previous years in the modernisation and expansion of our stores and in strengthening our Travel and Tourism division, both in Germany and in other European countries.”