Fontenla-Novoa: ‘I hated issuing Thomas Cook profit warning’

Thomas Cook will reassure investors it is back on track next month after issuing a profits warning last week that put its share price in freefall.

Chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa said: “I hated issuing that profit warning. We are determined not to do it again.”

He told Travel Weekly: “We will get the UK performing much better.”

Fontenla-Novoa has been under pressure in the City and the business pages of the national press over the group’s collapse in share price. But he said: “We are going to make a £320 million profit, only 12% down on last year. We have a fantastic Scandinavian business, a good German business.

“We have extended our banking agreement, and if you wanted a test of the banks’ confidence in Thomas Cook, you couldn’t get better than that. You will see us reduce debt.”

The City’s eyes are now on August 1 when Thomas Cook will issue its third-quarter results.

Fontenla-Novoa said: “We will give the headlines from the strategic review of our UK business, led by the new management team, in August.” He added: “We’ll present the detailed strategy in the autumn.”

Thomas Cook’s share price was up 1.6% in early trading on the London Stock Exchange this morning and has been largely stable through this week following a 44% loss last week.

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