Thomas Cook expected to reach fresh milestone with results this week

Cook expected to reach fresh milestone with results this weekBy Phil Davies,

The transformation at Thomas Cook is due to hit another milestone on Wednesday when it reports an increase in profits for the year to September 30.

The group is expected to post a figure of £323 million for the period, a rise of 23% on a year earlier despite a backdrop of difficult European markets after bookings in Germany moderated from their previously strong level.

The company’s German operation is also experiencing weaker margins due to reduced demand, excess market capacity and the geopolitical events in Ukraine.

Its UK summer capacity was 92% sold, with average selling prices down 4% mainly caused by a change in product mix and greater level of market capacity.

Overall, the company should have achieved a ninth consecutive quarter of increased profitability in the final three months of its financial year.

Cook, led by chief executive Harriet Green (pictured), is half way through a long-term plan to drive savings and return the group to bottom-line profit after its near collapse in 2011.

It has significantly reduced net debt from £788 million at the end of 2012 to between £300 million and £350 million by the end of this financial year.

The company has already cut costs by more than the £360 million it targeted this year and is expected to use the full-year results to outline new savings plans.

Brokers at Morgan Stanley forecast it will have saved £380 million this year, and that Thomas Cook will unveil a £480 million target for 2015, according to weekend reports.

Sourced by Travel Weekly

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