New boss steers Thomas Cook to calmer waters

After a tumultuous year, the travel agent's new boss is soothing investors

Thomas Cook's new chief executive, Harriet Green, one of the few remaining female bosses at a major listed company, will this week try to persuade investors that the holiday group has a secure future.

A rocky year that saw the 171-year-old group dice with death is likely to continue with more write-downs and write-offs set to see the travel agent report another set of thumping losses at its full-year results on Wednesday.

But its situation no longer seems terminal. Some investors think the group should use a recent bounce in its share price to tap the market for more funding to give it breathing space in the near future.

Signs of optimism should come from around £155m of operating profit and some tough talk from Ms Green, already making waves as a bright spark willing to take the radical action needed to save the business.

While City analysts think Ms Green will wait until next year to unveil the full extent of what will be a major shake-up, she is expected this week to signal a "new dawn" at a business that endured three profit warnings last year.

One of these saw its shares lose 70 per cent in a single day's trading. Investec said in a note to clients: "Although detailed figures on cost efficiencies and revenue upside targets may have to wait until spring 2013, we hope that the outlook statement and analyst presentation will serve as a platform from which a brighter, more profitable future can be effectively communicated."

Last week, Ms Green told the Confederation of British Industry conference that she had been struck by the power of the Thomas Cook brand. She said innovation and differentiation, having the right business infrastructure in the UK and an obsession with customers were the driving mantras.

On the last point, Green said "all roads lead to technology", an admission that Thomas Cook had fallen behind rivals in its internet offering.

Analysts at Panmure Gordon said they think the group "should use the recent share price strength to raise additional equity". Some say it needs another £200m to be safe. It has already had to raise many millions from its banks to survive.

Thomas Cook shares closed at 24p on Friday, up 4.35 per cent on the start of day's trading. This values the business at around £200m and is up on lows of well under 15p a share earlier this year.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • 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

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions