Thomas
Cook AG has admitted that it was forced to step up its discounting in an effort
to shift ‘already reduced flight and hotel capacities’.

Revealing
its results for the six months to the end of April 2003, group turnover was
8.3% down at €2.4 billion (£1.7 billion), with passenger numbers down 0.8%.

Meanwhile,
the average selling price of a Thomas Cook holiday fell to £432 compared to
£446 for the same period last year.

The
group also reported an operating profit 3% higher than in 2002, which it put
down to its ‘rigorous crisis management.’

In
the short-term, it claimed business had bounced back 8.1% up since the end of
the Iraq war.