Thomas Cook investors in new protest on bosses' pay

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The Independent Online

Investors have flexed their muscles again in a protest vote against Thomas Cook's executive pay.

Almost a year on from the shareholder spring, some 29.7 per cent of investors voted against the travel group's remuneration report at its annual meeting in London.

The rebellion is based on the pay packages handed to new chief executive Harriet Green and other directors at the company. Some shareholders believe these are too high given the loss-making group's current plight.

The advisory group Pirc advised investors to reject the report due to the two-year notice period handed to Ms Green if Thomas Cook terminates her contract.

The news came as Thomas Cook showed tentative signs of recovery after several months in the doldrums. The world's oldest travel group claimed its turnaround plan was going to schedule as losses narrowed to £69.8m during the last three months of 2012, compared with £91.1m a year earlier.

The 172-year-old group has struggled over the past few years with falling sales leading to a string of profit warnings. It has been forced to renegotiate bank loans and make disposals to cut debt.

Analysts say the company has made steady progress since Ms Green took over last May. It has made a number of disposals to cut debt, including the sale of its Indian business and several Spanish hotels.

Sales for summer holidays were up 4 per cent compared with 2012 while bookings in January were ahead by 2 per cent.

Meanwhile, rival Tui Travel said it expects to deliver full-year profit at the top end of forecasts as its losses fell by £16m to £93m during the fourth quarter.