Thomas Cook Group chief executive Peter Fankhauser has given a vote of confidence in the company with a purchase of shares.

The company, which has suffered from two recent profit warnings, confirmed today that Fankhauser had spent £50,000 buying 172,117 shares in the company.

Announcing a £58 million slump in annual profits at the end of November, Fankhauser said: “The UK was particularly hard hit with very high levels of promotional activity coming on top of an already competitive market for holidays to Spain.

“Despite the impact of the hot summer, our northern European tour operator achieved a near record performance, albeit lower than that expected at the end of May.

“Meanwhile, our group airline delivered strong growth in customers and profit, up £35 million, benefiting from increasing capacity in a turbulent European aviation sector.”

He added: “Looking ahead, we must learn the lessons from 2018 and go into the new year focused on where we can make a difference to customers in our core holiday offering.

“We will put particular attention on addressing the performance in our UK tour operator where the challenges of transformation in a competitive environment remain significant.

“Across the group, we will continue to streamline our cost base and manage our capacity to give us greater operational flexibility and financial discipline, while focusing the team on delivering performance improvements and giving customers more reasons to holiday with Thomas Cook.”

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