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Thomas Cook narrows losses

Thomas Cook improved its seasonal underlying EBIT loss by £13 million in the six months to 31 March, reflecting a strong airline performance.

Revenues grew by 5% to £3,227 million, driven by growth to Egypt and long-haul destinations.

The loss before tax improved by £16 million, helped by an £8 million reduction in net finance charges.

Bookings for summer 2018 are up 12% compared with this time last year, with particularly strong demand for Turkey, Greece and Egypt.

The group said significant growth to Turkey and North Africa is helping to mitigate UK margin pressure.

It is on track to deliver full year underlying EBIT in line with expectations on a constant currency basis.

Peter Fankhauser, chief executive of Thomas Cook, said the group airline performed particularly well in the first half.

"Condor delivered a strong turnaround, and has benefitted from our ability to provide a reliable and high-quality service during a period of disruption and consolidation in the German aviation sector. Our booking position for the summer is strong, and bookings are well in line with our capacity growth of 10% to an expanded range of destinations, including 70 new routes across the group," he stated.

Fankhauser added that the launch of its hotel investment fund with LMEY in March will allow it to accelerate the growth of its own-brand hotel portfolio "where we can deliver better quality and higher returns".

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