Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Blow to the high street as Thomas Cook announces 200 store closures

Just a day after the Portas report into our high streets and Thomas Cook's results this morning show just how dire the situation is.

The firm which delayed its results announcements earlier,having to get emergency funding to tide it over the Xmas period has reported losses of £398m for the year and it will close 200 of its under performing shops in Britain with a loss of over 1,000 jobs.

In an interview on Radio 4 about an hour ago,chief executive Sam Weihagen told the programme that the business had been hit by people booking holidays on the Internet as well as problems caused by the Arab spring and floods out in Thailand.

But in contrast, the world's biggest tour operator TUI Travel reported a better-than-expected full-year profit last week, boosted by strong online sales and demand for exclusive resorts.

Weihagen pledged that the closing of stores is part of a turnaround plan which will enable it to deliver annual profit improvements of £110 million.

Earlier this week,the group sold Spanish hotel chain Hotels Y Clubs De Vacaciones in order to reduce its debt

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