Thomas Cook Note Slight Boost in Summer Sales

Posted on 8 August, 2012 by Kirsten Kennedy

Those readers with a good memory can cast their minds back to April of this year and remember the unseasonably good weather most of Britain experienced for several weeks. Unbroken sunshine, cloudless skies and temperatures reaching upwards of 30 degrees ensured that many Brits could be found in their back gardens sunbathing and indulging in the odd barbecue. However, this spell of excellent weather proved unprofitable for commercial property travel agents.

Yet as summer progressed, and the weather worsened, travel agents such as Thomas Cook saw their fortunes begin to change. Recent weeks have seen a steady stream of holidaymakers heading into their commercial property offices and onto their website in a desperate bid to chase the summer sunshine. As such, the commercial property chain have managed to post positive financial results for the season so far.

The reason for the sudden influx of customers seeking to book a holiday has largely been put down to the unsettled weather across much of Europe in recent months. Heat waves and rain storms have been interchangeable, with fine spells of weather ushering in cold snaps on an almost weekly basis. This has caused the emergence of a late booking pattern for commercial property travel agencies.

This week, Thomas Cook posted their quarterly results for the three months leading up to June 30th. Revenue for this time period totalled £2,294.8 million – a drop of 6 per cent upon the previous year. Several factors have contributed to this plunge, planned capacity reductions by no means being the least of these.

Additionally, the commercial property chain was forced to post losses of £26.5 million, in contrast to the same quarter’s profits of £20.1 million. However, this is only to be expected, as the announcement that Britain had officially slipped back into recession came at a time where many consumers would be browsing commercial property travel agencies for last minute deals.

On top of this, operating costs have increased in the past year thanks to Thomas Cook’s acquisitions, both in terms of space and aircraft, as well as cost inflations due to fluctuating taxes.

However, the airline chain has made some management alterations that, they hope, will help boost profits in the next financial quarter. While no means given the poor current economic status in Britain, revenue is decidedly low for the summer season this year, partly due to the number of Brits wishing to visit Olympic commercial properties in London. Innovation is something that all companies must strive for in the current climate, with many businesses making management changes in order to bring fresh perspectives to their business models.

Michael Healy was appointed as Group Chief Financial Officer on July 1st, quickly followed by Harriet Green, who assumed the position of Chief Executive on the 30th of the same month.

Ms Green said; “My initial focus is to review our businesses, quickly establish priorities and develop a clear plan to reinvigorate Thomas Cook, which I expect to be able to present to you next Spring.

“The Group has been through a difficult period, but much has been achieved which has strengthened the balance sheet and improved liquidity.

“The strength of the Group’s brands and the quality of its businesses and people provides a foundation from which to bring the business back to full strength.”

Are you planning on flying from a commercial property airport this summer, or will you be staying in Britain to make the most of the summer of sport? Do you believe that the Olympics have had an effect upon commercial property travel agents this year, or are there other reasons why the number of people taking summer holidays has fallen compared to last year?

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