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Travel in focus on Wednesday as TUI and National Express update the market

The macro diary will also be in focus with both UK GDP and US inflation data likely to draw investor attention

TUI AG - Travel in focus on Wednesday as TUI and National Express update the market

Travel will be in focus this week ahead of the lifting of the UK’s international travel ban next Monday, with both package holiday firm TUI and bus group National Express expected to issue results and updates respectively.

Meanwhile, macro data will also be in focus as investors await the latest UK GDP numbers as well as US inflation data, with the latter likely to draw scrutiny following previous interest rate comments from US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who said last week that American interest rates may need to rise at some stage in response to inflation increases.

TUI hopes for clearer skies after pandemic storm

As the world’s largest travel and tour operator, the pandemic has ravaged TUI AG (LON:TUI) alongside the rest of the industry, so the company’s half-year results on Wednesday are unlikely to make for pleasant reading.

Despite having made steep cuts to its spending to weather the storm, the company still reported a massive €699mln loss in its first quarter as revenues plunged almost 90% as resorts remained shuttered in its key markets over the winter season.

With this in mind, investors will be looking for any signs of light in the gloom, most importantly the widely anticipated easing of some travel restrictions for the summer period that will finally allow holidaymakers to take trips abroad.

Information on booking numbers and reservations will be of key importance, as well as more updates on its cash position and how its plans to spend any leftover bailout cash.

Ignacio's at the wheel

Coach company National Express Group PLC (LON:NEX) will reveal on Wednesday whether the growing momentum seen in the final quarter of 2020 has been maintained in 2021.

Ignacio Garat, the group’s chief executive officer, has initiated “a wide-ranging business review to identify areas where we can improve our existing businesses and unleash the potential for sustainable growth”.

The company’s full-year results statement made great play of the company being the first public transport operator to become a Living Wage Foundation accredited employer so it would be disappointing were the review to conclude that redundancies are necessary.

The review was only announced in mid-March so it might, in any case, be too early for the company to reveal its thoughts on its new strategic direction but Garat has hinted it will include a greater focus on matters digital to improve performance, both operationally and commercially.

Significant announcements for Wednesday May 12:

Trading announcements: Coca-Cola HBC AG (LON:CCH), National Express Group PLC (LON:NEX), Spirax-Sarco Engineering PLC (LON:SPX), TI Fluid Systems PLC (LON:TIFS)

Finals: Investec PLC (LON:INVP), Mears Group PLC (LON:MER), Vertu Motors PLC (LON:VTU), Airtel Africa PLC (LON:AAF)

Interims: TUI AG (LON:TUI), Compass Group PLC (LON:CPG)

Economic data: UK GDP, UK trade balance, US inflation

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