British holiday firm Thomas Cook said it was on track to meet annual forecasts helped by strong demand for holidays to Turkey, Greece and Egypt, and as part of its plan to shift capacity away from parts of Spain where margins are lower.
Analysts are on average expecting Thomas Cook to post operating profit of 352 million pounds for the 12 month period to September 31, which would represent a 7 percent rise on last year’s result.
Thomas Cook said that in Britain, the smaller part of its business in revenue terms compared to its bigger divisions in the Nordics and Germany, France and Belgium, margins were under pressure due to adverse currency moves and hotel cost inflation.
“We've taken early action to meet strong demand for destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean"
It was mitigating this pressure by shifting holidays from Spain to destinations like Greece and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, but Cyprus is also expected to benefit.
"From all that we see so far, customers' appetite for a summer holiday abroad shows no sign of slowing down,” Thomas Cook chief executive, Peter Fankhauser said.
“We've taken early action to meet strong demand for destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“This has enabled us to shift capacity out of the Spanish islands where we have seen a continuation of the margin pressures we experienced last summer, particularly for the UK market.”
For its first-half, which includes its weaker winter season when fewer Europeans take holidays, Thomas Cook on Thursday posted an underlying loss from operations of 169 million pounds, a 5 percent improvement on last year.
That was buoyed by strong demand for holidays to Egypt and long-haul destinations, improving its first-half performance.
Thomas Cook also said on Thursday that it would scrap its Club 18-30 holiday brand.