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27 Sep 2016

BY Gary Noakes

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Thomas Cook rides out Turkey turmoil

Thomas Cook has reported summer 2016 bookings to be just ahead of last year’s despite the upheaval in Turkey.

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In a trading statement, the operator said UK sales for this summer season were 1% ahead of last year, but up 13% when Turkey is excluded.

The UK brand is 92% sold for this summer, but with selling prices down 5% while sales for next summer “suggest that customers are booking early”.

Cook’s figures also show the UK doing better than its northern or continental Europe divisions, which were –6% and -9% respectively, while its German airline division was -3%.

Chief executive Peter Fankhauser said the summer had progressed “largely as expected”.

“Customers’ desire to go abroad on holiday has remained strong with the exception of Turkey, where demand continues to be volatile,” he said. “To date, sales for the winter season are in line with last year while sales so far for summer 2017 suggest that customers are booking early in an effort to secure their first-choice destination and hotel.”

 

Cook also reported UK winter 2016/17 bookings up 8%, with average selling prices down 3%. The operator said this reflected a higher mix of seat-only bookings.

 

It added that summer 2017 bookings were ahead of last year across all source markets. Cook will unveil full results for the year to September 30 on November 23, when it is expected to report an operating profit of around £300 million.

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