Thomas Cook Group has reported good summer sales and is on course to meet its annual sales expectations. While its summer capacity in the UK was 95% booked, its northern European holidays were 99% booked.
The good results come as a surprise because in July the British travel company reported that its full year earnings could decline by around £25m because of the Tunisia terror attacks and fears of a Grexit. The group said: "Tunisia is effectively closed for the time being, but we have seen a significant increase in the number of customers travelling to Greece and Egypt, while our strategy to invest in long haul routes is paying off, with particularly strong growth in holidays to the US and the Caribbean."
Peter Frankhauser, chief executive, said: "Our trading performance for the summer season has progressed well, despite the impact of external shocks in certain destination markets, as previously announced. With more than a third of the Winter 2015/16 season sold, the bookings profile for next year is also encouraging."
The group, however, reported that it expects to take a £39m hit this year from the falling euro, as its profits from the eurozone will translate into a smaller sum when converted into pounds.
Other tour operators that had good summer sales include Europe's largest travel company Tui Group, which stated that its trading remained robust. Low-cost airlines Ryanair and easyJet also reported an increase in their summer bookings.
Referring to the group's overall progress and strategy going forward, Frankhauser said: "Over the last three years we have made excellent progress transforming our business. We have developed a strong core holiday proposition based around our own-brand hotels, reduced our cost base, and strengthened our capital structure. The next phase of transformation will aim to better integrate our businesses across geographies, with a higher quality and more focused holiday offering."
Meanwhile, The Telegraph's financial column Questor, which offers advice on stocks, stated that irrespective of Thomas Cook's good sales there were concerns such as the increasing competition in the travel sector, falling average prices at Thomas Cook and its net debt which is expected to be around £300m at the end of September. These factors make Questor believe that there are still "clouds on the horizon" for this global travel company.