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Thomas Cook reports widening losses as overhaul gathers pace

Thomas Cook reports widening losses as overhaul gathers pace

Struggling tour operator Thomas Cook has reported widening financial losses for the first half of financial 2012 as it battles to return to the black.

The 171-year-old organisation lost a total of £328 million over the six months to March 31st, up 40 per cent from the figure of £233 million a year ago.

Last year was particularly tough for the tour operator, as falling sales forced the resignation of veteran chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa in August. 

Thomas Cook was then forced to secure a £1.4 billion banking bailout from lenders.

The company has since begun a radical overhaul of its activities, disposing of assets in India and Spain, while also securing a sale and leaseback deal on some of its aircraft.

New leadership has also been put in place, with Harriet Green set to succeed Sam Weihagen as Group chief executive on July 30th.

Outgoing chief Weihagen said: “This has been a period of significant change for the group. 

“At the beginning of this month we were delighted to announce the agreement with our banking group of longer term and more flexible funding. 

“This, combined with the sale of Thomas Cook India, the sale and leaseback of some of our aircraft and the disposal of other non-core assets, provides the group with a much stronger financial platform.

“From this platform, we can re-energise our business and begin to rebuild profitability, reduce debt and continue to provide a fantastic holiday experience for our customers.”

Thomas Cook India was sold to Fairfax Financial of Canada for $150 million this month.