Thomas Cook revenues fall to €2bn

International holiday operator Thomas Cook, which said it plans to close its Irish operations, has reported first quarter underlying revenue of £1.65bn (€2bn), down nearly 1% year-on-year.

Thomas Cook revenues fall to €2bn

However, the company cut its underlying losses by over 15%, or £10m, to £56m, for the three months to the end of December.

Group chief executive, Harriet Green said that new product revenue growth, profit improvement programmes and “an intense business focus and financial discipline” have given the board confidence in achieving its current year targets.

Last month, Thomas Cook announced plans to close its Dublin-based sales office, as part of a review of its Irish operations, that will see customers dealt with via its online operations, managed out of London.

The company intends to close the office at the end of May, resulting in the loss of 44 jobs. The firm is currently in the middle of a 30-day consultation process with staff on the matter.

During the quarter, 36% of the company’s holidays sold were done so online, up from 34% for the same period the previous year.

Taking 2013 as a calendar year, Thomas Cook’s underlying revenues increased by over 2% to £9.3bn, with underlying earnings rising from £202m to £274m. Net debt was unchanged at just under £1.3bn.

Separately, Thomas Cook yesterday announced the £45m sale of its scheduled flight, hotel and car hire distribution unit, Gold Medal, to Emirates subsidiary, Dnata. The deal brings to £125m the total amount raised via non-core sales and means that it has met its divestment value target of £100m-£150m by the end of its 2015 financial year.

“This latest transaction represents another important step in the transformation of our UK business,” Ms Green said.

Shares in Thomas Cook closed yesterday down 2.4p to 183p.

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