Thomas Cookhas continued the recent trend of travel companies struggling to achieve their financial targets. The travel company which merged with MyTravel in June 2007 and has invested heavily in new IT and booking systems said revenues rose by 11 per cent but reported a greater loss than it hoped for.
In its interim management statement on trading since March 31, 2009 Thomas Cook did not provide any details on Arcandor, the German travel company which owns a 53 per cent stake in Thomas Cook and filed for insolvency in recent weeks. Thomas Cook is the most profitable division of the Arcandor business. Rivals Tui Travel reported a decline in bookings earlier this week, it said the decline was due to consumers not booking winter holidays.
Thomas Cook reported that its revenues rose by 11 per cent to £5.8 billion for the nine months to the end of June 2009. However the company also reported the losses before tax had also risen, up to £286.4 million from £236.7 million.
Group CEO Manny Fontenia-Novoa said of the results, “Looking beyond the current year, we are preparing for continued tough market conditions.” He said the company will continue to aim towards an “efficient cost base” but also admitted that targets set out during the merger of Thomas Cook and MyTravel may not be achievable. In November 2007 Thomas Cook said it would achieve an operating profit target of £480m by 2010, but the CEO said today that the target is “aspirational” and in the current economy “not realistic”.
Thomas Cook is undergoing a three-year reservation overhaul as the CIO integrates the Blue Sky iTour platform. It has also moved MyTravel onto the Thomas Cook SAP financial, payroll and HR systems.
Thomas Cook has origins dating back to the Great Exhibition of 1851 where it organised mass travel to the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park to see the Exhibition founded by Prince Albert.