1. ITV Report

Thomas Cook unveils turnaround plan

Thomas Cook unveils turnaround plan Photo:

Peterborough-based Thomas Cook promised to become more "high-tech and high-touch" as it rolled out its turnaround strategy with a bigger focus on city breaks.

The UK's second largest holiday operator, which staved off collapse a year ago following a rescue deal with lenders, said its plans centred on providing customers with "trusted and personal" holiday experiences.

It hopes to achieve the strategy while cutting another £50 million of costs on top of the £350 million already identified. Last week, it announced it will axe 2,500 jobs or 16% of its 15,500-strong UK workforce and close 195 high street travel agencies, reducing the estate to 874 shops.

Unveiling its strategy to investors, Thomas Cook said the outlook for the current year was encouraging, with bookings for summer holidays going well.

Chief executive Harriet Green, who joined the company last year, said: "We will expand our already successful hotel concepts and build a new portfolio of flexible, trusted products and services."

The review, based on a survey of more than 18,000 people, identified that some holiday types such as city breaks were only a small part of the Thomas Cook portfolio, a shortfall it has vowed to address.

"The customer survey has led us to conclude that trust, personalisation, high-tech and high-touch are the success factors in travel and consistency and strong brand are the drivers of consumer choice."

– Harriet Green, Thomas Cook Chief executive

The company will also look to reduce its online brands and websites to just three customer-facing sites in the UK and one in Germany.

The review, which triggered a 14% rise in its share price today, comes amid speculation that Thomas Cook will look to tap shareholders for £400 million in a bid to bolster its finances. It said it was still considering what action to take.

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