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Sunwing Kallithea Beach, Rhodes (photo: Thomas Cook)

Thomas Cook posts €1.67bn pre-tax loss

The disastrous first-half results for the tour operator, which in the Nordics includes Ving, Globetrotter, Spies, Tjäreborg, mean it could be split up entirely.

Thomas Cook’s share price plunged when it posted its first-half results on Thursday morning. The staggering £1.456 billion (€1.668 billion) pre-tax loss was down 15% year-on-year.

Revenues for the six months to the end of March were just over £3 billion, but net debt at the end of the period still stood at £1.25 billion.

Thomas Cook confirmed this week the appointment of Jamie Wilson, a chief financial officer at the direct-sell beauty brand Avon, as non-executive director to its board.

Diving deeper into the red, the operator issued a new profits warning. The H1 loss mainly resulted from a £1.1 billion write-down on the value of MyTravel, a UK package holiday business it bought in 2007, Thomas Cook said.

In the Nordic countries, Thomas Cook Group includes the tour operators Ving, Globetrotter, Spies, Tjäreborg, as well as Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia and the chains Sunwing Family Resorts, Ocean Beach Club and Sunprime Hotels. The group normally sells around 1,500,000 trips a year in the Nordic region.

Holiday discounts
But the holiday firm, which dates back to 1841, said it had sold just 57% of its summer 2019 holidays, with tour operator bookings down 12%, the Guardian newspaper reports.

It has slashed the number of holidays it offers in response to the weaker demand and is offering substantial discounts to attract more customers.

This is especially the case in the UK, where the Brexit process has led many to delay their holiday plans this summer, chief executive Peter Fankhauser admitted.

Consumer demand for the operator’s packages have weakened across Europe, he added, due to the heatwave in northern Europe last summer and high prices in the Canary Islands for winter and summer breaks.

Higher fuel and hotel costs are further problems, the company said. As its airline business is auctioned off, Thomas Cook is being circled by potential bidders for other parts of the business and could be split up entirely.

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