Thomas Cook Group Plc (LON:TCG) today released results for the half-year ending March 31. The company said it had made ‘positive progress’ with regard to increasing profits and revenue. It further noted the potential of its strategic partnership with Chinese travel giant Fosun while adding that it expects continued improvement.
Thomas Cook’s share price was unchanged on the day at 157.00p as of 09:15 BST today, in line with the FTSE 100 blue chip benchmark. The company’s stock has climbed more than 20 percent in the year-to-date, but is mostly flat on an annual basis.
Thomas Cook’s revenue for the six months ended March 31 had climbed by 1.2 percent on a like-for-like basis to £2.742 billion, while on reported-basis it was down 8.9 percent. Pre-tax loss was logged at £303 million, down from £366 million for the first half of the previous year.
"Overall the Group has made positive progress during the first half. Thanks to the actions we have taken, both profits and like-for-like revenues have grown, and debt has been further reduced,” Thomas Cook’s chief executive Peter Fankhauser commented. “Our performance in the first half provides a solid foundation for the full year and beyond.”
The company said that Summer 2015 holiday bookings are ‘encouraging’, with 62 percent of the programme sold to date, two percentage points higher as compared with the same period last year.
Significantly, Thomas Cook also noted that “improving bottom-line profitability supports resumption of dividend payments in respect of FY16 earnings”.
Thomas Cook recently found itself in the middle of a storm of criticism over the company’s failings towards the parents of two children who died of poisoning during a holiday in Corfu in 2006. An inquest found that the travel firm had “breached its duty of care” of the children, and the company has apparently failed to apologise to the parents.
Fankhauser acknowledged the company’s shortcomings today, admitting that he was “deeply sorry” for what had happened.
“We have to fix it, we have to come out this time and I can really just express my deepest sorrow and we will try to do everything to help them move on with their lives. Leave it to me, I am committed to fix it,” Fankhauser said as quoted by the Financial Times.