Thomas Cook reported a loss of £49.1million during the last quarter, (however revenue in the quarter had grown 1% to £1.6bn) their future now lies in the introduction of more upmarket holidays this summer, with prices hiked by some 9 percent across all price points. They blame mounting competition, in their traditional package tour markets, and continuing terror attacks.
The firm told City Analysts it had to be "cautious" about prospects for this year, and accordingly shares were off as much as 10 percent when the markets opened but recovered slightly during trading.
Thomas Cook, the Peterborough based firm claims 6 million UK customers but due to terrorist incidents fewer tourists visited Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia but Spain is enjoying a boom, Spanish hoteliers have responded by bumping up room rates by some 8percent - Thomas Cook insist they have to pass these increases on.
Rival airlines and holiday firms have also ramped up their services to hotspots such as Majorca and the Canary Islands.
Despite reporting a loss, the firm said revenue in the quarter had grown 1percent to £1.6bn.
It also said bookings for holidays in Greece were up more than 40percent offsetting a drop in visitors to Turkey that sliced into profits in its last financial year.
Commenting, chief executive Peter Fankhauser said the firm had made a "solid start" to the year, despite the "backdrop of continued uncertainty, we remain cautious about the rest of the year, given the uncertain political and economic outlook."
JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com