Thomas Cook said that its overall business had been hit by the UK market this morning after bookings for the forward winter perioddropped 7% compared to last year.
The decrease in winter bookings was set alongsidea 5% drop in capacity, largely on long-haul routes. Holiday prices for thecompany had increased 4% for the summer period with bookings remaining flat and the average selling price is set to rise again throughout the winter season.
“Our overall performance has been impacted by our UK business and the disruption in the MENA region,” its statement said. “Summer booking trends in our key markets have remained largely in line with expectations since we last reported”.
Thomas Cook’s board has announced it will make no dividend payments to the group as it balances its books and remains focused on improving its ‘financial flexibility’, as well as its merger with the Co-operative Group on Saturday. Thomas Cook had already set out a UK plan in its previous statement which is said to be in ‘good progress’. Actions in there view include a re organisation of the business; fleet reduction; the closure of 24 retail stores and changes to its hotel portfolio, which has seen 500hotels leave and 100 ‘differentiated’ properties come on board.
The group also announced the appointment of Frank Meysman as chairman designate from 1October, who will become chairman from 1 December when Michael Beckett retires.Co-op boss Peter Marks will also join the board as a non-executive director on1 October.