Shares in Thomas Cook tumbled around 25 per cent today after it cut its 2018 profit forecast, blaming the heatwave in northern Europe and tougher competition in the most profitable later part of the summer season.
Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook’s chief executive, said: “Summer 2018 has seen a return to popularity of destinations such as Turkey and Tunisia. However, it has also been marked by a prolonged period of hot weather across Europe. This meant many customers spent June and July enjoying the sunshine at home and put off booking their holidays abroad, leading to even tougher competition and higher than usual levels of discounting in the ‘lates’ market of August and September.
“Our recent trading performance is clearly disappointing. However, despite the recent challenges, we continue to make good strategic progress which positions us well to drive further performance improvement; this includes the launch of our Expedia alliance in the UK and Scandinavia, signing our first own-brand hotel in China and lining up a pipeline of 10 new Cook’s Clubs in some of our key destinations for Summer 2019.”
In a separate statement, the FTSE 250 group also stated that it would replace its chief financial officer.