Thomas Cook expects full year results to be in line with market expectations despite a slow start to winter sales.
Giving a pre-close trading update group chief executive Harriet Green said: “Summer 2013 trading is as we anticipated when we announced our Q3 2013 interim management statement, with last year’s very strong lates market returning to more normal levels as expected.
“In terms of winter holidays, we are at an early stage in the booking cycle.
“While we expect geopolitical events may impact destination choice, we are following the improved integration of our business lines, offering customers a wider range of new routes and attractive vacations which we believe will provide a sound basis for continued performance into the new financial year.
“This combined with the continued delivery of our new product range and our cost out and profit improvement plan, give us confidence of achieving our targets and successfully implementing our strategy for profitable growth.
“We look forward to reporting further progress at our full year results announcement on November 28.”
Summer trading continues to be in line with expectations and is now more than 95% sold.
Bookings have slowed in recent weeks compared to last year’s strong lates market.
Overall bookings have outperformed Cook’s planned capacity management by over 4% with average selling prices up.
UK bookings for the summer are down 3% on last year with a capacity reduction of 2.5%.
“With a year-on-year increase in average sale prices of over 4.5%, we anticipate that the UK will match our expectations,” the company said, adding that capacity from the UK is now more than 97% sold.
Cook revealed that winter trading has started more slowly than last year across most markets “given geopolitical events and warm weather across Europe”.
“However, we continue to pursue an active capacity management strategy, matching committed capacity to demand and, as a consequence, it is encouraging to note that average selling prices are up strongly in all markets,” Cook said.
“Improved integration of our business lines, that enables us to offer customers a wider range of routes and vacations, combined with the continued delivery of our new product range and cost out and profit improvement plan, give us confidence of achieving our targets and successfully implementing our strategy for profitable growth.”
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