Holiday firm Thomas Cook hit by Egyptian turmoil
Holiday firm Thomas Cook has been hit by a quarter of a million fewer holidaymakers travelling to the popular winter sun destination of Egypt.
Reporting figures for the seasonally quieter six months to March 31, the tour operator said the impact of Egypt's political turmoil on demand took £131 million off its half-year sales and £14 million from its profits.
However, the business said increased gains from its savings programme meant it still narrowed losses to £257.1 million, from £268.8 million a year ago.
In the UK, the company said its average prices were 3% lower than last year due to its changing mix of holidays and from selling a higher number of shorter breaks. However, the firm expects its UK business to improve average prices as it sells more exclusive hotel holidays.
Thomas Cook said UK sales were £44 million lower than 12 months ago due to over capacity to the Canary Islands as well as fewer travellers to Egypt.
The firm added it has so far sold 66% of its summer holidays in the UK market.