British travel firm reports its third profit warning in a year as Brexit impacts bookings
British travel company Thomas Cook, who last week say its stock price tumble to just £0.10 ($0.127) on the back of a reported half-year loss of £1.5 billion ($1.9bn), said it is operating business “as usual” and is still actively pursuing investment opportunities in the Middle East.
Founded in 1841, Thomas Cook this month issued its third profit warning in less than a year, putting its growing debts down to the negative impact of the Brexit crisis in the United Kingdom.
As Citigroup analysts on Friday dismissed the travel firm’s shares as "worthless", a Thomas Cook spokesperson attempted to easy holidaymakers fears the company was about to go out of business.
“Thomas Cook is the best-known travel brand in the UK. We’re responsible for taking over 20 million people abroad on holiday every year and we take that responsibility very seriously,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
“We have taken a number of proactive steps in recent months to strengthen our financial position. We have the support of our lending banks and major shareholders, and just this week we agreed additional funding for our coming winter cash low period. We have ample resources to operate our business and at the same time, as usual, our liquidity position continues to strengthen into the summer period.
“Our customers can have complete confidence in booking their holiday with us…. We’re looking forward to the summer season with 20 new own-brand hotels openings and some great offers for customers,” he added.
Thomas Cook opened its first own-brand hotel in the United Arab Emirates, the Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort, in November 2017 and a spokesperson told Arabian Business on Tuesday the company was still looking at further opportunities in the wider Middle East region.
“We’re focused on growing our own-brand hotel portfolio, and we’re actively looking for partners and opportunities across the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa,” he said.
In February, the Thomas Cook India Group also announced its acquisition of a 51 percent stake in Dubai-based Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging (DEI) in a deal worth $40.6 million. Established in 2004, DEI focuses on imaging solutions for the tourist attractions industry and is present at more than 250 venues spanning over 14 countries. It said it completed 3.6 million transactions in 2018.