Thomas Cook widens loss on Brexit-related write-down

London: Thomas Cook widened first-half losses on a major write-down caused in part by Brexit uncertainty that has delayed summer holiday bookings, the British tour operator said on Thursday. It posted a net loss of £1.474 billion ($1.893 billion, 1.689 billion euros) in the six months to March 31, as customers also put off trips abroad last winter.
The troubled group noted meanwhile that it had received “multiple” bids for its airline business, amid speculation that it could even face a full takeover attempt.
“The first six months of this year have been characterised by an uncertain consumer environment across all our markets,” chief executive Peter Fankhauser said in an earnings statement.
“The prolonged heatwave last summer and high prices in the Canaries reduced customer demand for winter sun… while there is now little doubt that the Brexit process has led many UK customers to delay their holiday plans for this summer.
“Our loss from operations for the period was £1.4 billion … largely related to the merger with MyTravel in 2007 which we have re-valued in light of the weak trading environment,” Fankhauser added.
The chief executive added that higher fuel and hotel costs were “creating further headwinds” to the company’s progress for the remainder of its financial year ending in September. Thomas Cook’s loss after tax, following a write-down of £1.1 billion, compared with a net loss of £254 million in the first half of the company’s 2017/18 financial year, it said. — Reuters