Sunday 20 November 2011 11:04 pm

Thomas Cook to close 200 stores

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THOMAS Cook is set to close about 200 high street travel agencies as the troubled tour operator prepares to unveil a massive overhaul of its UK operations.

The closures follow Thomas Cook’s recent merger with Co-op’s travel business that left the operator with 1,350 high street shops. At the time of the deal, the group warned that 75 shops may be axed, but sources now claim it is closer to 200.

Thomas Cook declined to comment on the number of closures, only stating that the “outcome” of a review would be revealed alongside its results on Thursday this week.

The debt-laden company, Europe’s biggest tour operator after Tui, has issued three profit warnings since August last year, prompting the departure of it chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa in August.

Shares have fallen 80 per cent since January, closing on Friday at 41.62.