Belfast Telegraph

Losses at Thomas Cook narrow as bookings to Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus surge

Losses at travel giant Thomas Cook narrowed in the third quarter as bookings to Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus drove sales.

The group said it saw a "significant growth" in holidaymakers visiting the three nations, with Greece the standout performer with a 22% increase.

This helped boost revenues by over 20% to £2.3 billion in the three months to June 30, meaning that pre-tax losses narrowed from £64 million to £31 million.

Thomas Cook also confirmed that bookings to Turkey were recovering after terrorist attacks and political instability in the nation hit bookings.

Demand for trips to Egypt and Turkey plunged after the bombing of a plane from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh and a violent attempted coup by the Turkish army, which has been followed by a string of terrorist attacks in the country.

Boss Peter Fankhauser said: "Our increased focus on the customer is reflected in a good performance for the third quarter.

"So far, we are taking one-and-a-half million more customers on holiday this summer than we did three years ago, showing the growth in demand for our modern package and flight offer.

"The pick-up in demand for Turkey we reported earlier in the year has continued, as customers are attracted to the quality and value on offer."

However, he added that the firm is experiencing pressure on margins in Spain in a "competitive environment", though this is being mitigated by its focus on own-brand and core hotel offering.