Thomas Cook sees share price fall sharply as heatwave takes toll

Thomas Cook sees share price fall sharply as heatwave takes toll

Thomas Cook has seen its share price fall by a quarter this morning after warning annual profits would be lower than expected.

Shares in the company were changing hands for 36 pence after the UK tour operator said profits would be £30 million lower than expected.

It was the second profit warning in two months from Thomas Cook.

Earnings at its tour operator unit were £88 million lower in the year to September, as people delayed booking holidays because of the prolonged heatwave at home.

Thomas Cook also said its bookings for this winter were three per cent down on last year and suspended its dividend.

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Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser said it had been a “disappointing year”.

He added: “The UK was particularly hard hit with very high levels of promotional activity coming on top of an already competitive market for holidays to Spain.

“Looking ahead, we must learn the lessons from 2018 and go into the new year focused on where we can make a difference to customers in our core holiday offering.”

Underlying earnings will be £250 million to the end of September, £58 million lower than in 2017, Thomas Cook said.

Additional charges, including disruption to flights, were partly responsible for this decline, the company added.