Thomas Cook share price rises as it reports growing sales and plans to return to Tunisia

Rebecca Smith
Demand to Greece has been on the rise
Demand to Greece has been on the rise (Source: Getty)

Thomas Cook shares rose six per cent in early afternoon trading as the travel company reported narrowing losses and a bounce back in travel to Turkey, in its third quarter update.

The firm also said it plans to run package holidays to Tunisia "towards the spring", after the Foreign Office relaxed its travel advice for British tourists.

Read more: Holiday markets in Turkey and Egypt are recovering, Thomas Cook's boss says

The figures

The travel firm said there was "significant growth" in bookings to Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus in the three months to 30 June. Greece in particular proved a hit with sun-seeking travellers, with a 22 per cent rise in bookings.

Revenue grew from £1.9bn to £2.3bn and losses decreased from £64m to £31m.

Looking ahead, the firm said customers were attracted by "the quality and value" of Turkey, and there had been solid growth since its last update. Bookings for winter 2017/18 were up five per cent in the UK, while bookings were up eight per cent in continental Europe.

Thomas Cook said it continues to expect full-year underlying operating profit to be in line with market expectations.

Why it's interesting

In February, shares in the travel firm took a tumble after Thomas Cook said it remained "cautious" for the coming year with an uncertain outlook across Europe.

But in March, Thomas Cook reported green shoots emerging in Turkey as it began to recover after terrorism and political instability dampened demand, and today the company said the pick-up in demand continues.

Today, the firm's boss also said Thomas Cook will run package holidays to Tunisia "towards the spring" after the Foreign Office changed its travel advice on Tunisia yesterday. It had previously tightened its advice after a terror attack in a Tunisian resort in June 2015.

What the company said

Peter Fankhauser, chief executive of Thomas Cook, said:

Strong demand for our holidays across the group combined with an improved performance in our German airline to deliver a £10m increase in profit versus the same period last year.

As we said in May, we are experiencing pressure on margins to Spain in what is a competitive environment, though this is being mitigated by our focus on our own-brand and core hotel offering and supported by strong overall demand for our summer holidays. As a result, we continue to expect our full year underlying operating result to be in line with current market expectations.

Read more: Thomas Cook reports sunny forecast as demand rises for holidays in Greece

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