1. ITV Report

Thomas Cook announces £328 million loss

Thomas Cook announces £328 million loss Photo: ITV Central

Thomas Cook has announced a loss of £328 million in its pre-tax profits, in the seasonally quieter six months to the end of March.

The holiday firm, which is based in Peterborough and started life in Leicester, said that negative publicity it suffered after it went to its banks for an additional £200 million of loans to secure its future had weakened sentiment towards it.

However, the firm remains confident that efforts to stabilise the business are working, with the hope that a variety of turnaround initiatives could boost UK profits by £140 million over the next three years.

Shares were down 10% today, meaning they have lost nearly 90% of their value in the past year.

The group, however, says it is pleased that summer bookings in the UK are only down 1% on the previous year, boosted by Olympics packages although margins were under pressure.

Chief executive Sam Weihagen said a recent #1.4 billion deal with lenders to extend the maturity of its loans to 2015, the sale of its Indian business and the sale and leaseback of some of its aircraft provided evidence of its turnaround.

"From this platform, we can re-energise our business and begin to rebuild profitability, reduce debt and continue to provide a fantastic holiday experience for our customers."

– Chief executive Sam Weihagen