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Shares fall in Thomas Cook as results disappoint

11 February 2017

Revenue for the first quarter rose by one per cent to £1,618million. Summer bookings were ahead of past year, after the company responded to the security turmoil of 2016 by expanding its presence in Greece, Portugal and Croatia, which are less affected by security concerns.

Amid news of the reporting, Thomas Cook plc shares plunged 7.12 percent as of 09.56AM (GMT).

Average selling prices across holidays and flights are up 2%.

Thomas Cook remains cautious for the year ahead despite narrowing losses.

Intense competition between low-priced airlines means that flight-only prices for the coming summer are no higher than previous year.

Demand for destinations such as Cyprus, Bulgaria, Portugal and Croatia is also strong, according to the group.

He said there was no sign that Britons had generally been put off foreign holidays by the weakness of the pound, though this had seen a drop in demand for trips to the US.

Sterling has sunk to 31-year lows against the U.S. dollar since the Brexit vote.

Moreover, its summer 2017 season was 32 percent sold, with a 9 percent rise in bookings year-on-year.

The group said United Kingdom bookings for this year's key summer season were largely flat - up one per cent overall - as it comes under pressure from rivals in the Spanish island market.

Standard Life Investments - Thomas Cook's second biggest shareholder with a 13 per cent stake - confirmed it voted against several resolutions, including the re-election of remuneration committee members.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: " Times are tough in the European travel industry and Thomas Cook isn't having the best of it, though the good news is things don't seem to be getting any worse".

Faced with the rebellion, Thomas Cook said it would not use the SSIP in the current financial year and would consult with shareholders before activating it.

There was also a vote of about 20 per cent against the remuneration report as investors voiced concerns over the performance criteria for a strategic share incentive plan (SSIP) under which Peter Fankhauser, its chief executive, could be paid up to 225 per cent of his salary, now £690,000.

Last week, the influential Institutional Voting Information Service group wrote to investors over concerns about the size of Fankhauser's bonus.

Shares fall in Thomas Cook as results disappoint