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Thomas Cook losses begin to narrow

Losses at travel agent Thomas Cook, which has 11 branches in Northern Ireland, narrowed in the first half of the year, but the travel giant flagged that the UK is still causing it a headache.

The group posted a £303m loss in the six months to March 31, which compares to a £314m loss in the same period last year.

Revenue rose 5% to £3.2bn, driven by growth to Egypt and long-haul destinations.

Thomas Cook boss Peter Fankhauser said that the firm continues to experience "margin pressure" in the UK, due to a combination of "hotel cost inflation in Spain, currency impact and capacity increases in the market".

Shares were down over 3% in morning trading.

Nevertheless, the travel firm's summer programme is 59% sold, with Thomas Cook seeing strong demand for Turkey, Greece and Egypt.

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