Thomas Cook Blames European Heatwave For Projected Profits Drop

Rachel McGrath

Thomas Cook has warned shareholders that its annual profits are going to drop this year, citing the summer heatwave as the reason why.

The holiday company makes all of its profits in the summer months, but thanks to hot weather across Europe they say more people spent June and July at home instead of booking a trip abroad.

As a result, Thomas Cook had to implement “higher than usual levels of discounting” in August and September.

This means that despite the fact Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and Greece remained popular – with 12% more bookings than in the same period last year – average selling prices of 5% lower mean their annual profits estimate has been readjusted to £280m. 

This is down more than £40m, from the previous estimate of £323m.

Company boss Peter Fankhauser 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.”

The beach in Broadstairs, Kent, was busier than usual this summer

After the announcement, Thomas Cook share prices plunged by nearly 25%.

The holiday company operates in numerous countries across Europe, transporting nearly 19 million holidaymakers a year. 

While there is a growing trend in online bookings, they still have more than 600 stores in the UK. 

2018 was the joint hottest summer on record for the UK as a whole, with the hottest day of the year being recorded when temperatures hit 35.3C in Faversham, Kent, on Thursday 26 July. 

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