Bookings surge lifts Thomas Cook profits

 

Britons looking to escape to the sun after weeks of miserable weather have lifted holiday bookings at beleaguered travel firm Thomas Cook.

The UK's second biggest travel company said its summer programme was now 88% sold after a weather-related boost in recent weeks following a subdued April and May.

But cumulative bookings in the UK were still down 1% on last year as at July 29, although this was unchanged from its last update in May, the 170-year-old firm said.

The group, which was recently forced to turn to its banks for an additional £200 million of loans, reported an underlying operating loss of £26.5 million in the three months to June 30 due to tough trading conditions and the cost of acquisitions.

Thomas Cook said demand for its specialist and independent holidays remained strong but sales of its Olympic and Paralympic packages to corporate customers had been challenging.

The group was plunged into crisis in November after it turned to its lenders for help, sparking fears of a collapse, but it is now hopeful that it has a platform for recovery.

The group recently appointed Harriet Green, the boss of electrocomponents distributor Premier Farnell, to lead its turnaround as its chief executive.

Thomas Cook has so far sold part of its aircraft fleet and five Spanish hotels and agreed the sale of its Indian arm as part of the strategy.

The tour operator has removed 500 underperforming mainstream hotels - around 22% of its properties - from its summer programme.

Ms Green said she hoped to unveil her vision for the business next spring.

She said: "The group has been through a difficult period, but much has been achieved which has strengthened the balance sheet and improved liquidity."

The group reported a 6% drop in revenues for the three months to June 30 to £2.3 billion, while it incurred one-off costs of £33.2 million from reorganisation.

Its underlying challenges remain as net debt rose to £1.1 billion in the quarter from £902.5 million last year, as increased losses weighed on its balance sheet.

The company's disposal programme has generated proceeds of £164.8 million.

Looking ahead, it said booking trends were "encouraging" and the turnaround plan was delivering against its objectives.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West, performing in New York last week, has been the subject of controversy as rock's traditional headline slot at Glastonbury is lost once again
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living