Thomas Cook hangs onto its French branch

 
City A.M. Reporter
TRAVEL group Thomas Cook said yesterday it had decided not to sell its French business and would instead kick off a restructuring programme to turn the under-performing unit around.

The world’s oldest travel group said that following a review into its French unit it would retain the business and “implement a specific transformation programme for France to improve performance”.

Shares in Thomas Cook, which have risen 83 per cent so far this year, fell almost five per cent yesterday to at 83.5p, valuing the group at around £800m.

The French business, which includes the Aquatour, Jet tours and Kuoni tour operators, has been hit by domestic economic uncertainty and political unrest affecting popular French-speaking destinations such as Morocco and Tunisia.

Thomas Cook said its French unit would now come under the direct responsibility of its Continental European segment led by managing director Reto Wilhelm, who will take on the French business from 1 April.