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Thomas Cook adds to travel industry gloom

13 August 2010

Thomas Cook delivered more bad news for the travel industry, warning that full-year profits would be “‘at the lower end of market expectations’”, blaming weak demand in the UK.

The announcement came a day after a similar warning from rival Tui Travel, where fewer bookings by Britons and price-cutting led to poor trading in the crucial summer period.

Unlike Tui, which exacerbated some of its problems by boosting capacity earlier this year, Thomas Cook had cut winter capacity and kept summer offerings steady.

The group does not operate in the emerging markets that have helped shore up results for other leisure industry companies and its high exposure to British holidaymakers – who accounted for 40 per cent of operating profits last year – has left it hostage to some of the poorest consumer sentiment in Europe.