Thomas Cook profits slip after weak summer

Thomas Cook shop
Image caption Thomas Cook said bookings for next summer were "developing well"

Tour operator Thomas Cook has reported a fall in full-year profits after tough economic conditions hit summer trading.

Pre-tax profit for the year to the end of September came in at £41.7m, compared with £45.1m the previous year. Revenue fell by 4% to £8.9bn.

"Tougher-than-expected trading" in the UK offset "substantial" gains made in central Europe and the company's Airlines Germany business, it said.

However, Thomas Cook said winter and summer bookings were encouraging.

"Winter bookings have got off to a good start and, although early in the cycle, summer bookings are developing well," chief executive Manny Fontenia-Novia said.

He added that the company had streamlined its UK business resulting in "significant cost savings".

"I am confident that the actions we have now taken to reinforce the UK business, together with continued progress on our strategic initiatives, leave us well positioned to make progress in the current year," he said.

Russian deal

Thomas Cook had warned in August its full-year profits would be at the lower end of market expectations.

Last week, the company announced a joint venture with Russia's Intourist.

It will take a 50.1% stake and pay $45m (£29m) in cash and shares, with an option to purchase the remaining shares in the joint venture over the next five years.

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