Write-downs keep tour operator deep in debt
After a year of uncertainty and change, Thomas Cook has posted an underlying operating profit of £156 million (€193 million), which is 49% down on its result last year. The operator blamed rising fuel costs, totalling £110 million for the year. Moreover, exceptional charges pushed the group to a total loss for the year of £590 million. These included goodwill and other write-downs of £369 million and business repositioning costs of £81 million.
Throughout the year the operator has approved a number of asset sales and this helped reduce its net debt, which now stands at £788 million, down from almost £900 million.
“These results reflect the major issues that Thomas Cook faced last year, but they mask the material improvement that we made in the fourth quarter,” Harriet Green, the group’s chief executive, said. “Our brand has demonstrated its strength by recovering all the ground lost during last year’s difficulties and we have identified significant further efficiency improvements.”
She continued: “The year ahead is the initial stage in this recovery and as we embark upon our first year of Business Transformation, we are optimistic about the future and look forward to updating you on our full plans and additional financial benefits in the spring of 2013.”