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Tough trading conditions see losses widen at Thomas Cook

Tough trading conditions see losses widen at Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook saw losses widen from £37 million to £91 million during the first quarter of financial 2012 as tough trading conditions in the Middle East and north Africa hit sales.

The British tour operator said rising fuel costs also had an impact on margins.

Revenue rose three per cent to £1,861 million in the first quarter when compared to the previous year, mainly as a result of increased activity in northern Europe and Airlines Germany.

A maiden contribution from Co-operative and Russian joint ventures also contributed £68 million to the rise in revenue.

Sam Weihagen, group chief executive, said: “I have been encouraged by how our bookings have developed, particularly in the UK where our market share for both the winter and summer seasons remains broadly stable.

“As expected, the first quarter has been adversely impacted by the uncertain economic environment across Europe, input cost inflation and the ongoing disruption in MENA.

Thomas Cook confirmed it would continue to focus hard on implementing its UK turnaround strategy following a series of setbacks.

Share prices in the company collapsed late last year as it was forced to take out emergency loans with banks to see it through winter trading.

“We continue to work hard on restructuring the UK business and a full strategic review of the group is progressing well,” added Weihagen.

As part of this review, the board at Thomas Cook agreed it will examine the possibility of selling its majority stake in its publically quoted Indian subsidiary.

This is in addition to the previously announced non-core asset disposal programme.