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Tuesday, 19 May, 2009, 19 : 00 PM [IST]

Thomas Cook confident of meeting full year expectations

Thomas Cook Group said its pretax loss for the six months to March 31, 2009 widened to Pounds 280.4 million but the tour operator is still confident of meeting expectations for the year and raised its dividend. The company’s pretax loss widened from Pounds 233.2 million a year earlier. However, revenue rose 12.6 per cent to Pounds 3.48 billion from Pounds 3.09 billion due to foreign-exchange translation effects and contributions from acquisitions. Seasonal loss from operations improved 15.6 per cent to Pounds 110.9 million (including adverse translation impact of Pounds 3.9 million).

The Group said it had five per cent fewer summer holidays left to offload than at this stage last year, while selling prices had increased and margins were in line with its expectations. Manny Fontenla-Novoa, Chief Executive, Thomas Cook Group PLC said, “We delivered a strong performance during the first half, which is the off-peak season in all our markets except Canada, with improvements in seasonal operating loss of 16 per cent. Our focus on mainstream holidays, and in particular medium haul, combined with the flexibility in our business model and our ability to deal with changes in demand patterns has benefited us. These results demonstrate not only this, but also the strengths of our cost discipline, brands, products and people. We remain confident that we are on track to meet our full year expectations. Our confidence is underpinned by our proven ability to manage capacity and costs as well as driving synergy improvements and implementing contingency measures as appropriate. As a result, we are increasing our interim dividend by 15 per cent.”
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