Business

Thomas Cook hails 2015 as 'a year of real progress'

Thomas Cook plane Image copyright Getty Images

Thomas Cook has hailed 2015 as "a year of real progress" despite what it described as "turbulence in some of our destinations".

The travel firm reported a £50m pre-tax profit for the year to September - its first full year profit since 2010.

In July, it warned the attacks on a tourist beach in Tunisia, fears over a Greek exit from the eurozone and the strong pound would hit profits.

But the firm said the underlying business had "traded well overall".

Underlying earnings fell to £310m from £323m, but the firm said the performance was in line with its expectations.

"The underlying business performed in line with our plans at the start of the year, demonstrating its greater resilience," said Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser.

More recently, the firm was forced to suspend UK flights to Sharm-El-Sheikh airport in Egypt, following the bombing of a Russian passenger jet over Egypt, and it said its holidays in Tunisia were still suspended for most markets.

But Thomas Cook said bookings in the new financial year had got "off to a good start" with "encouraging trading" for both winter 2015-16 and summer 2016.

Mr Fankhauser said the group had also "confronted its mistakes" following the deaths of two children from carbon monoxide poisoning while on one of its holidays in Corfu, Greece in 2006.

The group was heavily criticised in a report over the accident published earlier this month, and Mr Fankhauser said he was clear it "had to learn from the tragedy and do things differently in the future".

Thomas Cook's shares, which have fallen more than 20% over the past year, rose almost 10% in early trading to 107.7p.

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