Lower Thomas Cook Summer Bookings Attributed To Terror Attacks

Thomas Cook

Shares in the company dropped by 11% at market open, crashing as low as 19% during the day.

Thomas Cook registered  improved figures on Thursday as their losses thinned although demand at the package holiday company remains uncharacteristically low owing to terror attacks in Turkey, Belgium and France recently.

The group saw its share price plunge by over 11.4 per cent in at stock market open, although this was partly attributed to the fact that the company posted its results on the same day as an Egyptian air flight disappeared.

Despite the group’s earnings dwindling by about 2.6 per cent to register £2.67bn in the six months preceding April 1, it reduced operating losses by 5.7 percent bringing the figure to £163m from £173m. The company’s debt levels however increased hitting £825m from £700m.

The day prior the firm attained an improved credit rating which was a grade higher than it formerly had from Moody’s.

According to the airline operator, dividend payments will still be made inline with the company’s current dividend police although the company’s shares have slumped by more than half within the past year.

The company has observed a change in bookings, noting an increase in demand for holidays to western regions of the Mediterranean and long distance journeys. Despite this change, the effect is yet to counter that brought about by the decline in demand for a number of locations in Turkey, which has suffered due to terrorism. In total, summer reservations dropped 5 percent.

Belgium and Egypt are also among other regions where a drastic fall in demand has been recorded. Thomas Cook is nonetheless advancing internally with the addition of ten new destinations with the inclusion of Cape Town and Los Angeles.

Chief executive Peter Fankhauser, in a statement said:

“Despite disruption in some of our key markets, we’ve managed to slightly grow our revenues on a like-for-like basis, having anticipated the shift in demand away from Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt and into the Western Mediterranean and long haul destinations.

Fankhauser mentioned the Corfu inquest which he outlined as “a turning point” for the operator.

“It was clear to me that we needed to change our mindset and put the customer back at the heart of our  business.

“I am proud of the way in which my colleagues across the business have embraced all the changes we have made. We’ve created a comprehensive new training scheme for all customer-facing staff, rolled out new software to better serve customers in resort, and introduced a 24-hour customer promise in 1,500 of our most popular hotels. It’s early days and there is more to do, but we’ve already seen a positive reaction from our customers, with improvements in the net promoter score across all our markets.

He concluded that despite the current environment he is confident that the group is taking positive actions to strengthen its offering and investing in a omni-channel distribution will position the company to meet FY18 expectations.

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