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Travel firm earnings surge
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Thomas Cook Group Plc, Europe's second-biggest tour operator, reported a 27-percent gain in annual profit and said summer vacation bookings have been unhurt by slower consumer spending.


Net income climbed to 224.1 million euros (US$331 million), or 33 cents a share, in the fiscal year through October, Thomas Cook said yesterday. The figures include results of MyTravel Group Plc from June 19, the date it merged with Thomas Cook AG, Bloomberg News said.


Tour companies have allied so they can cut costs, helping to fend off competing budget airlines and online travel agents. Peterborough, England-based Thomas Cook, which set a goal last month of saving 200 million euros a year from the combination, also sought to get a jump on larger competitor TUI Travel Plc.


Sales for the approaching summer vacation season are "in a very strong position pretty much across all markets," Chief Executive Officer Manny Fontenla-Novoa said.


(Shanghai Daily January 31, 2008)


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