Tourism group Thomas Cook falls into loss

1st December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Thomas Cook on Wednesday said it made an annual loss of 2.6 million pounds as the British tourism group was hit by a weak demand in Britain and disruption to flights caused by the volcanic ash cloud.

The British company made a net loss of 2.6 million pounds (3.1 million euros, 4.1 million dollars) in the 12 months to the end of September compared with profit after tax of 7.0 million pounds in 2008/09, it said in a statement.

"We recognised at the outset that 2009/10 would be demanding given the uncertain economic outlook and, accordingly, we took early action to deal with the challenges," said Thomas Cook chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa.

"While we made good progress in many of our operating segments and delivered a strong improvement in operating cash flow, trading in the UK was even tougher than anticipated.

"As we enter the current year, although the UK environment remains uncertain, we are encouraged by a better market environment in our major Continental and Scandinavian markets.

"Winter bookings have got off to a good start and, although early in the cycle, summer bookings are developing well," he added.

Thomas Cook added that annual group revenue fell 4.0 percent to 8.89 billion pounds -- mainly reflecting planned capacity reductions in its winter programme and lost sales as a result of Iceland's volcanic ash cloud.

© 2010 AFP

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