Thomas Cook overhaul halves losses

Thomas Cook overhaul halves losses

Holiday giant Thomas Cook said losses more than halved in the first year of its major overhaul today before claiming it was “just the start” of its return to health.

Chief executive Harriet Green outlined plans for a further wave of cost reductions, having already begun a programme of widespread cuts that has seen it slash its network of UK travel agencies from more than 1,100 to 874 and is leading to about 2,500 job losses.

She said she could not rule out further job cuts, but stressed the focus of the new plan was not on reducing its workforce.

She added the turnaround so far had been a “great success” as losses reduced to £207m in the year to September 30 from £590m the previous year.

Thomas Cook returned to underlying earnings for the first time in three years, posting a surplus of £13m, and said it was ahead of its cost savings targets so far.

Ms Green said: “An enormous amount has been achieved transforming Thomas Cook and the deliverables are clear.

“Yet the implementation of our strategy for sustainable profitable growth has only just begun.”

The group said efforts to increase online holiday bookings were paying off, with 36% now booked over the web, under plans to increase this to more than 50% by 2015.

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