Thomas Cook Confirms Financial Challenges

Update: November 22, 12:00 p.m.

In a statement, London-based Thomas Cook Group plc, confirmed deterioration in its stock, as well as  its cash and liquidity position, and confirmed it is seeking bank loans.

"Deterioration of trading in some areas of the business in the current quarter, and of its cash and liquidity position since its year end, the Company is in discussions with its principal lending banks with regard to its facilities during the seasonal low
period of cash in the business."

"While the Company currently remains in compliance with its financing covenants, it also intends to seek agreement from its lending banks to adjustments that will improve its resilience if trading conditions remain difficult, " Cook said.

One result, the company said, will be a delay of its announcement of its full year results until these discussions are concluded. "The Company expects to report a headline operating profit for the year ended 30 September 2011 broadly in line with previous guidance."

Earlier the company said it would announce its preliminary results for the twelve months ended September 30, 2011 on November 24.

Thomas Cook Group plc is one of the world's leading leisure travel groups with sales of £8.9 billion and 22.5 million customers. Cook operates with six geographic segments in 21 countries and clams 3,500 stores. In North America, Cook has 48 retail outlets and handles 1.1 million passengers.

Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for more information on this developing story.

Report: Thomas Cook Shares Fall as Company Seeks New Bank Deal

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that shares of Thomas Cook Group, Plc. fell after the company sought a fresh £100 million credit deal with its lenders and delayed the announcement of its full-year results, which had been scheduled for November 24.

BBC News reports that the company’s latest request comes on the heels of an additional request for an additional £100 million in credit on October 21, and that the company’s most recent troubles stem from the recent unrest in Egypt and Tunisia, two of its most important destinations. The political troubles came after a string of mergers and acquisitions starting in 2001, when the company was acquired by C&N Touristic AG, becoming Thomas Cook AG. In 2007, that company merged with My Travel Group, and in 2011 it merged its travel agent business with the Co-Operative Group. Then-chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa issued three warnings regarding profit before departing the company, followed by Ian Derbyshire, the head of the company’s United Kingdom retail division. Deputy Chief Executive Sam Weihagen now leads the company on an interim basis.

The company claimed it was “robust,” according to The Press Association. Shares have fallen by 66 percent, or 93 percent since the start of the year, and shares in rival European tour operator TUI Travel are down seven percent.

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