Thomas Cook announces strategic review of airline business amid Q1 losses

Writer, Stock Market Wire
Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 07:51

Thomas Cook announced a strategic review of its airline business on Thursday as it reported its operating loss had increased by £14 million in the first quarter of its financial year.

Its underlying operating loss rose by £14m to £60m for the three months ending 31 December 2018.

However, first-quarter revenue rose 1% to £1,656m, led by strong customer demand for Turkey and North African destinations, offsetting weaker demand for Spain.

"As expected, the knock-on effect from the prolonged summer heatwave and high prices in the Canaries have impacted customer demand for winter sun. Where Summer 2018 bookings started very strongly, bookings for Summer 2019 reflect some consumer uncertainty, particularly in the UK, and our decision to reduce capacity which will both mitigate risk in our tour operator business and help our airline to consolidate the strong growth achieved last year," said Peter Fankhauser, Chief Executive.

Looking forward, Thomas Cook said it was addressing some of summer 2018's challenges by reducing its committed airline capacity for 2019 continuing to drive down costs. As such, it said it had made good progress in managing its cost base.

However, the company said it was making no changes to the full-year expectations set out in November 2018, reflecting the early stage in the year and limited visibility due to wider market uncertainty, particularly in the UK.

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