Find out why it is business as usual for beleaguered Peterborough employer Thomas Cook

Reunited: Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser, left,with former UK managing director Chris Mottershead at the opening of the Westpoint offices in September 2016. Now Mr Mottershead is back in charge of the troubled UK business.
Reunited: Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser, left,with former UK managing director Chris Mottershead at the opening of the Westpoint offices in September 2016. Now Mr Mottershead is back in charge of the troubled UK business.
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Troubled holiday giant Thomas Cook has shrugged off the company's undignified drop from the FTSE 250.

The world's oldest tour operator, which employs more than 1,000 people in Peterborough, was dumped from the index of the UK's largest 250 listed companies after a dramatic fall in its market value.

Thomas Cook's new concept store in Serpentine Green, Peterborough, which is likely to play a key role in reviving the travel operator's UK business.

Thomas Cook's new concept store in Serpentine Green, Peterborough, which is likely to play a key role in reviving the travel operator's UK business.

Thomas Cook's share price has plummeted over the last few weeks on the back of two profits warnings and the announcement it had made a £163 million loss to the end of September.

The holiday giant, which has offices at Westpoint in Lynch Wood, also revealed it had net debts of £389 million and scrapped any dividend payout to shareholders.

Its falling share price, which has rallied today, took its market capitalisation below the value of its debt.

Thomas Cook was removed from the FTSE 250 during a quarterly review of its make-up and dropped into the FTSE small cap index. The change will come into force on Christmas Eve.

But a company spokesman insisted the implications of removal from the FTSE 250 were not big and would not have any impact on employees or investors as most of the firm's shareholders are long term investors rather than fund holders that specifically track the FTSE 250.

Instead, Thomas Cook, which this year took 22 million people on holiday - up two million on the previous year - says it is focused on reviving its troubled UK business and making it more profitable.

The prolonged summer has been blamed for much of the firm's losses this year with holiday makers delaying their getaway bookings.

A spokesman said: "We found that the hot summer meant people delayed booking until the most heavily discounted part of the year, which is the last quarter of the year."

The company's annual results cover the 12 months to the end of September.

Its new strategy includes driving greater awareness of its own hotel brands, which attracted 1.2 million people last year and from which its makes more money, and look at ways of cutting back capacity risk.

It will also work on a greater integration of its financial services business with its retail stores, of which there are 600 across the UK.

And in a surprise announcement today, Thomas Cook revealed it has reappointed its former UK boss, Chris Mottershead, to take back the leadership of the UK business.

Underlining the seriousness of the challenges ahead, chief executive Peter Fankhauser said: "Given the critical importance of turning around the performance of the UK business I have decided to hand back the leadership of the UK Source Market to Chris Mottershead for the time being.

"I am confident that his experience in running a British holiday company will help to accelerate the UK’s return to profitable growth.”