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Feb. 13--HANOVER, Germany -- The world's largest travel company, Germany-based Tui, has sold three hotels to absorb seasonal losses last quarter as a result of the airline Niki going bust.

In the three-month period October-December 2017, the company reported from its headquarters in the northern city of Hanover that its net loss in the winter period shrank by 15 per cent to 99.6 million euros (122.7 million dollars) compared to the same quarter in 2016.

The bankruptcy of holiday airline Niki in December, a subsidiary of the now defunct Air Berlin, resulted in losses of 20 million euros (24.6 million dollars) for Tui.

While the company increased profits from its own hotels and cruise ships, the operating loss in the tour operator business increased.

Earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA) across the whole company saw losses shrink by 59 per cent annually to 25 million euros, while sales increased 8 per cent to 3.5 billion euros.

Tour operators traditionally register losses in the relatively quiet winter period, which is usually offset by much higher earnings in the high season.

Tui had said previously that summer bookings were up by 6 per cent this year. Revenue is expected to increase by 8 per cent compared to last summer.

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