Thomas Cook says bookings lower on uncertain environment

Wednesday, 23 March 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

LONDON (Reuters): British holiday company Thomas Cook said bookings were lower than last year due to uncertain geopolitical conditions, but prices were holding up and it was sticking with its annual guidance.

Thomas Cook said summer bookings were 5% lower than last year as customers organised their holidays later, in a continuation of a pattern it highlighted in February.

It blamed the later booking pattern on customer worries over security following a series of attacks in holiday destinations. An attack on tourists in Istanbul in January caused demand for trips to Turkey to plunge, while last year there were also attacks in Paris, Egypt and Tunisia, making some tourists wary of previously popular destinations. The company stuck to the existing outlook for profit growth. Analysts expect Thomas Cook’s core earnings (EBIT) to come in at about 345 million pounds, according to Reuters data, 11% higher than last year’s result. “We maintain our previous guidance for the full year, but as highlighted at our last update, this is dependent on seeing a sustained recovery in customer confidence as we progress through the Summer season,” the company said in its statement on Tuesday.