Thomas Cook optimistic despite debts

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Debts are soaring at Thomas Cook, but the stricken travel operator insists it has a bright future. In the six months to March, Thomas Cook recorded a loss of £713m, which was about what the City expected. The shares still fell 7 per cent, or 1.5p, to 18.75p.

Sam Weihagen, the interim chief executive, forecast a possible surge in bookings to Greece if it left the euro and holidaymakers found travel there cheaper.

The company said bookings to Greece from Germany were down a fifth, but had held up from elsewhere.

Its debts rose £388m to £1.39bn, which compares with shareholder equity of £160m. But asked what the chances are of the business existing in five years, Mr Weihagen said: "One hundred per cent. It's a strong brand. I would be extremely surprised if we are not still here."