Published on Friday, May 11, 2012

Thomas Cook sells aircraft to raise cash

Thomas Cook has agreed to sell and lease back 17 of its aircraft to raise £183 million to strengthen its financial position.

CEO Sam Weihagen said the deal provides "substantial additional liquidity".

Giving a trading update, he added: "As expected, the first half seasonal losses have widened however, summer bookings have improved in recent weeks."

Looking forward, the Group said it expects this year to be challenging given the economic backdrop and difficult trading environment.

"The performance of our North American and French businesses has been particularly poor and is a major contributor to the increased losses in the first half," said a statement.

"Whilst our booking position for the second half is more encouraging trading will be dependant on how well the Group performs during the important lates market."

Summer UK mainstream bookings are down 9%, ahead of capacity reductions of 13%.

The Group has 19% less left to sell compared to prior year.

Average selling price is stable, up 4%, and bookings for independent and specialist businesses are up 11%.

The group's seasonal loss from operations for the six months to end-March grew to £262.7 million from £165.8 million.

Net debt as of March 31 was £1.39 billion.

The company appointed ex-Kwik-Fit finance boss Michael Healy as chief financial officer earlier this week

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  • Will histroy repeat itself?

    Small points but in a conversation with an experienced travel rep (I am in resort at the moment) One or two of the indicators of an impending demise of a travel company is firstly the sale of aircraft and secondly a new uniform for the reps. T.cook now satisfy both criteria. My Travel (remember them?) sold thier aircraft to T.Cook just before they went, they also issued their staff with new uniforms the year they went west and absorbed into T.Cook. The directors of My Travel it was alledged at the time (I stress alledged, as I am unable to confirm or prove the allegation, so may be incorrect!)used the money from the aircraft sale to pay themselves compensation for loss of their jobs on the take over. ???? a repeat of history?

    By Paul Davis, Saturday, May 12, 2012

  • Deck chairs and Titanic all over again

    This is just a case of re arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    By Paul Davis, Friday, May 11, 2012

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