Luxury travel specialist Western & Oriental has issued a statement confirming the sale of its travel division. The group of travel companies owned by Western & Oriental, including W&O Travel and Regent Holidays, will be bought by Furze International.
Thomas Cook has reported a fall in full-year profits after tough economic conditions and the ash cloud crisis hit summer trading. Europe’s second largest tour operator also revealed plans to cut more than 500 UK jobs due to the slowdown.
Travel conglomerate Holidaybreak has bought a 50 percent stake in German educational accommodation provider, Meininger, for €36.5m, with the option to buy the remaining stake within three years.
London’s oldest tour operator, the Travel Club of Upminster, has gone into administration after “very difficult trading conditions” left it unable to guarantee payments to overseas supplies.
A programme of cost cutting has helped luxury tour operator Kuoni reduce first-half losses to £23 million from £30 million in 2009 despite sales remaining “muted” due to the European debt crisis, the volcanic ash cloud and political voilence in Thailand.
Travel giant Holidaybreak, which owns 15 brands including Eurocamp and PGL, has bucked a week of bad news from the tour operators by reporting a healthy rise in trading on the back of a flourishing schools programme.
Fosun, China’s largest privately-owned conglomerate, has bought a 7 percent stake in Club Med for around €23m. The deal comes as part of the French all-inclusive specialist’s shift into new markets as it reduces its dependence on stagnating European source markets.
A surge in sales has helped leisure and activity travel group Holidaybreak cut net debt by £30m and reduce first-half losses. It also said the impact of the volcanic eruption in Iceland was “expected to be immaterial to overall financial performance”.
The success of a TV campaign featuring the former footballer Jamie Redknapp and his wife Louise, the former pop star, has helped lift Thomas Cook’s summer sales during the peak January booking period. Meanwhile pre-tax losses for the quarter ending 31 December narrowed to £81.5m from £112m year-on-year.
Europe’s largest tour operator, TUI Travel, has reported a doubling of net quarterly losses to £124 million due to planned capacity reductions and tougher trading. But strong demand for holidays this summer has led to rising prices and an improved outlook.
Thomas Cook Group is holding talks in the City in a bid to refinance its €1.8 billion banking facility that would allow it to borrow cash according to its needs.
The financial crisis, currency upheavals and swine flu have taken their toll on upmarket operator Kuoni. Sales in the first nine months of its financial year fell by more than 21 per cent to SFr2.98bn ($2.91bn), prompting a SFr5.7m loss, compared with a SFr126m profit last time.