77% of Winter Collection Sold by Tour Operator Thomas Cook

Tour operator, Thomas Cook Group claimed 77% of its UK winter 2009/10 stock has been sold and the selling price has been pushed up to 2% in the last four weeks. This was informed at the release of its first interim management statement since October 1, addressed by Fontenla- Novoa Group Chief Executive.

Fontenla- Novoa Group Chief Executive said, "We are pleased to report a £30.5 million reduction in seasonal loss before tax for the first quarter, as a result of lower exceptional and finance charges. The operating loss before exceptional items of £41.3 million was £13.9 million higher than the prior year, mainly as a result of planned capacity reductions. In recent weeks, bookings for the summer 10 seasons have improved significantly".

TV advertisements featuring warm sun and beaches were crowned for the rise in summer booking and an expected confident full-year was anticipated. Following a marketing campaign featuring former football player Jamie Redknapp and his pop singer wife Louise, UK bookings were up 15% in the last four weeks the group said.

He added, "The average selling price has increased from being 6% ahead of this time last year to 8% in the last four weeks, largely thanks to the group's strategy of moving towards higher margin, medium haul destinations which represent 82% of the winter program".