Confident Peterborough-based Thomas Cook to pay first dividend in five years

Peter Fankhauser, chief executive of Thomas Cook.   ENGEMN00120121130150524
Peter Fankhauser, chief executive of Thomas Cook. ENGEMN00120121130150524
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Peterborough based Thomas Cook is to pay its first dividend to shareholders in five years.

The Lynch Wood-headquartered holiday giant says the pay out of 0.5 pence per share is a sign of its confidence in the future for the company.

But the move comes after the company through what chief executive Peter Fankhauser described as a “difficult year for tourism”.

Thomas Cook, which employs 1,200 people in Peterborough, has been rocked by the impact of terrorism in Turkey and Belgium, pushing it to look for alternative destinations.

The company’s annual results for the year ending September 30, show pre tax profits fell eight per cent to £42 million.

Revenue for the group fell five per cent to £7,812 million.

Mr Fankhauser said: “In what’s been a difficult year for tourism, I’m pleased with the progress that we’ve made.

“The early actions we took to shift our holiday programme into the Western Mediterranean and long haul, together with the benefits of a stronger Euro, helped us to maintain revenue at group level.

Looking ahead, Mr Fankhauser said: “For summer 2017, we have seen an encouraging early start to trading, with bookings ahead across all segments.

“Our UK business is currently 20 per cent sold, in line with last year.”

He added: “We’re taking a cautious approach to the year ahead. We are confident our strategy for profitable growth, focusing on improving our holidays for customers, will help us to achieve a full year operating result in line with market expectations.”