Thomas Cook sees lift in UK bookings

Thomas Cook said its performance in Britain had improved in recent weeks as a new advertising campaign and improvements to its website boosted bookings.

The company, which secured a 200 million pounds ($319m) rescue package from its banks last November, said online bookings of mainstream holidays had seen a substantial uplift and were up 19 percent year-on-year in the last four weeks.

"Trading across the group has been stable since we last reported and in line with expectations," Acting Chief Executive Sam Weihagen said in a statement.

"In the last few weeks we have seen an improvement in UK booking trends, helped by our recently launched advertising campaign and upgrades to our website."

Europe's second biggest travel firm by sales said, however, that bookings in Northern Europe and West and East Europe were slower than expected.

Thomas Cook, which issued several profit warnings last year, has been hit by tough trading conditions, especially in Britain where its core customer base of families with young children has been particularly affected by the economic downturn. It was also impacted by social and political unrest in popular destinations such as Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco