Bottom Line: Green looks golden but she still has much further to go

Marc Sidwell
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THOMAS Cook has come a long way in a year, but the travel firm’s new Let’s Go! slogan is still the watchword.

Chief executive Harriet Green put the tour operator on a radical diet: closing 227 UK stores, cutting 2,500 jobs, more than halving its brands from 85 to 30, and selling its stake in NATS air traffic control. Phew.

The result is the firm’s first operating profit in years, £13m, after a £170m loss last year. It has halved its losses after tax from £590m in 2012 to £207m. Net debt is £421m, from £788m a year ago. Margins are up, and 2015 targets are increased.

However, as the results statement said: “This is just the start.” Green is focused online, aiming at more than half of bookings online in the 2015 financial year. At just 36 per cent of bookings online now, and only a two per cent increase over the last year, the pace needs to pick up, and fast.

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