Thomas Cook chief outlines more cost cuts

Kasmira Jefford
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THOMAS COOK’s new chief executive Harriet Green yesterday insisted the embattled tour operator had “turned a corner” yesterday and outlined plans for more drastic cost savings after revealing a gaping £485m loss.

The group’s full year results saw losses widen by 22 per cent from a £398.2m loss last year while revenue declined by three per cent to £9.5bn.

Green, who joined from Premier Farnell in July, said the loss “was unacceptable” but said the results masked the improvement made in the fourth quarter of the year.

“The potential across our business is strong and despite what these results may suggest, this business is very definitely viable and working,” Green said.

She pledged to improve profit and said the business has already established plans to deliver £100m of annualised savings, largely expected in 2014 and 2015, in addition to £140m of British cost cuts already announced.

Green, who has said technology will be the group’s salvation with its online business set to be the key distribution channel, will unveil a full turnaround plan for the group in the spring.The group, which was on the brink of collapse last year, has been hit hard by the economic downturn, high fuel costs and social unrest in popular destinations. It has had to renegotiate bank loans and make disposals to cut debt.

Shares closed four per cent higher yesterday at 25p.