Spending on the high street fell during the month of August, with many reporting that consumers had fled the rain and low temperatures for sunnier climes.
Research from Barclaycard revealed that consumer spending growth slowed to 3% last month but that travel spending was up 7% year-on-year.
In its high street sales tracker, which covers around 10,000 stores, accountancy firm BDO reported that August was the worst month since November 2008.
“With the exception of the last week of the month, consumers deserted the high street in favour of spending on holidays abroad,” the report said.
Airports including Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester enjoyed record Augusts and there were also positive updates from the likes of Ryanair and easyJet.
All this is good news for both of the big two, which had suffered from the negative effects of the terrorist attack in Tunisia in June. “The groups both have sizeable continental European business but, as far as their UK businesses are concerned, trading should have been good,” said analysts at Langton Capital.
“Recent share price weakness has been caused by concerns over Tunisia and Greece. Some stock will have been moved from North Africa and the Eastern Med to the Western Med and the Canaries but, overall, we would hope to see that TCG [Thomas Cook Group] and Tui have traded somewhere between ‘well’ and ‘very well’.”
Referring to Tui Group, which will update the market on September 30, analysts at Morgan Stanley said: “The UK... sounds like it has had a good lates market partly due to bad weather and the strong pound.” The Dart Group’s recent positive update also points to a possible bounce for other operators, with the owner of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays reporting a strong summer.
“In view of the continued strong demand for our leisure travel package holiday and flight-only products, the board is optimistic that group performance for the financial year ending March 31, 2016 will materially exceed current market expectations,” the firm said.