The turnaround at Thomas Cook has resulted in a £1 million profit being achieved in the three months to June 30 – a £46 million improvement on the same time last year.
An additional £31 million of cost savings profit improvement was made in the group’s third quarter, taking the cumulative total to £138 million. The UK contributed £105 million towards this.
This was described as representing “significant progress” as Cook remains on track to meet a year-end target of £170 million.
Net debt has been more than halved from £1,099 million a year ago tp £452 million.
Chief executive Harriet Green, who joined a year ago, said: “We have continued to make significant progress transforming Thomas Cook.
“The success of our recent £1.6 billion capital refinancing has enabled yet more focus on the transformation, which continues apace.
“Since the announcement of our half-year results 11 weeks ago, we have again delivered improved operating results, stronger margins, further cost out benefits, improved cash conversion and a number of exciting new web and other product developments.
“However, this is just the start. We see huge potential in Thomas Cook and its realisation remains our overriding priority. We look forward to delivering much more for all our stakeholders.”
Around 85% of planned capacity is now sold for this summer. Disciplined management of capacity has led to 9% less left to sell in the lates market compared with last year.
Recent political and social unrest in Egypt and Turkey is not currently having a significant impact on the group, Cook said.
The group revealed that its web strategy is on course, with thomascook.com the most-visible holiday website on Google UK, attracting 59% of all generic holiday searches made via laptops and desktops.
It is also the second most-visible website for generic holiday searches made via tablets and smartphones, accounting for 68% and just below travelsupermarket.com on 69%.
The number of bookings for Cook’s ‘concept’ hotels are up by 38% for the summer.
This was described as “encouraging progress” against a full year aim to increase the number of concept hotel holidaymakers by 25% from approximately 450,000 last year.
Looking forward, the company said: “Overall, the board is confident of a satisfactory result for the full year.
“Current bookings match our expectations and, as we continue to focus on managing capacity with demand, we are optimistic that we will maintain satisfactory prices and margins during the remainder of the summer season.
“We do, however, recognise that the ‘lates’ market last year was particularly strong due to inclement weather throughout much of Europe, which has not been replicated this year.”
Cook revealed that Karl Schattmaier has been named as managing director group hotel unit for Thomas Cook Hotels & Resorts.
He has worked in the hotel industry for more 35 years and most recently oversaw the merger of Iberotel and Rui. He also led the Steigenberger Hotel corporation and is chairman of the supervisory board of the SRS Hotel Group.
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