Holiday prices up 9 per cent for summer 2016

Thomas Cook Group plc (TCKGY.PK,TCG.L) reported a Group loss from operations (EBIT) for the first quarter of 67 million pounds, compared to a loss of 78 million pounds, last year.

Demand for destinations such as Cyprus, Bulgaria, Portugal and Croatia is also strong, according to the group.

In September the Bulgarian unit of Thomas Cook said it targets 34% growth of foreign tourists in 2017.

Thomas Cook said Greece was now its "stand-out" destination, with 2.5 million holidaymakers booked for this summer, which has seen a recovery back to levels of 2014 before the refugee crisis in Kos and wider Greek financial woes of recent years.

Chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, said: 'In preparation for the Summer season, we have expanded our holiday offering to Greece and a number of smaller destinations across Europe, and I'm pleased that this early action is paying off.

United Kingdom bookings increased by 5% compared to previous year, with online bookings up 20%.

Summer 2017 is so far 31% sold, which is 9% ahead of this time a year ago, while the current winter season is only 82% sold, as expected.

Mr Fankhauser is also under pressure over his pay deal as the group faces shareholders for its annual general meeting later on Thursday.

A quarter of shareholders voted against Thomas Cook's pay plans last year and investor groups have voiced concerns this year over long-term incentive bonuses. The Group expects profit improvement measures at Condor to positively impact Condor's performance in the second half, following continued weakness in the first half.

The travel services company made a pretax loss of 135 million pounds ($162.7 million) for the three months ended December 31, more than the loss of GBP116 million made in the corresponding period a year earlier after booking finance charges of GBP29 million.

Despite the increase, pre-tax losses for the winter trading period, which is a tough part of the year for the travel industry, widened by 14 per cent to £135m after the group took on more borrowing.

The company tabled a motion at the AGM reducing it to 165% of base salary reflecting the share-price fall and the feedback from some shareholders.

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  • Anthony Vega