Thomas Cook confidence boost

Thomas Cook, Europe's second-biggest travel firm, said yesterday it was confident of meeting full year expectations as summer holiday bookings for 2009 remained robust despite tough economic conditions. The group said it had five per cent fewer summer holidays left to offload than at this stage last year, while selling prices had increased and margins were in line with its expectations. The company, said its first half loss for the six months to 31 March, narrowed by 15.6 per cent to £110.9m, above market expectations. The group has cut back on the number of holidays it offers to maintain prices.