Thomas Cook profit broadly flat after Turkey issues weigh

Thomas Cook profit broadly flat after Turkey issues weigh

LONDON - Reuters
Thomas Cook profit broadly flat after Turkey issues weigh


British travel company Thomas Cook posted broadly flat annual profit after its attempt to grow was hampered by customers turning their backs on holidays to Turkey, and said it was encouraged by future demand for trips abroad.

The company reported operating profit of 308 million pounds ($382 million) for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, beating an analyst forecast of 296 million pounds, and compared to the 310 million pounds it made last year.

The company said its confidence in its future profitability meant the board was recommending a dividend of 0.5 pence per share for the 2016 full-year, in line with guidance it gave last year that it would make its first payout for five years in 2017.

“We are confident that our strategy for profitable growth...will help us to achieve a full year operating result in line with current market expectations,” Chief Executive Peter Fankhauser said in a statement on Nov. 23.

For next year, Thomas Cook said bookings for the summer, when it makes all its profit, were ahead across all its markets, while winter bookings from the UK were up 2 percent.

Winter bookings from Germany were down 5 percent however as holidaymakers there decided not to travel to Turkey.

Thomas Cook also said Condor, its German airline, continued to drag on its performance due to weak demand and overcapacity in the airline market. It said it was implementing a turnaround plan to try to improve profits by focusing the airline away from short-haul flights to longer-haul flights.