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Travel industry news

03 May 2019

BY Jennifer Morris

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Updated: Thomas Cook confirms lending talks 'to ensure flexibility through the winter'

Thomas Cook Group has confirmed it is in discussions with its lending banks to “to ensure flexibility” through the winter.

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The company is currently in a closed period ahead of reporting its half-year results on 16 May

Sky News reported on Friday 3 May that Cook was reportedly in discussions to secure up to £400 million from its lenders.

 

While it did not confirm the figure, Cook has since issued a statement on the “speculation”.

 

It said: “As stated in our first-quarter trading announcement of 7 February 2019, Thomas Cook kept a healthy level of liquidity headroom through the last winter cash low period, maintaining a minimum liquidity buffer within our targeted range of £150 million to £200 million.

 

“Since that update, the business has moved into its key summer booking period where the group’s liquidity position continues to strengthen.

 

“Looking ahead to Winter 2019/20, we have taken the proactive step of engaging in discussions with our lending banks now to ensure we have both the financial flexibility necessary to maintain an appropriate liquidity buffer through the winter, and also the ability to continue to invest in our strategy of growth.”

 

Peter Fankhauser, chief executive of Thomas Cook, added: "We have taken a number of prudent early steps to de-risk our business by taking out capacity in a challenging consumer environment.

 

“We have also taken the proactive step to approach our financing partners and are engaged in constructive discussions to ensure we have the flexibility and resources to continue investing behind our plans over the long-term.”

 

Cook said it would provide an update on current trading on 16 May when its half-year financial results are released.

 

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