Thomas Cook poised to announce restructure plans

Thomas Cook is expected to confirm the closure of 200 of its 1,200-plus travel agency branches this week as part of a cost-saving UK restructure.

The group has dismissed reports of 200 closures as “speculation”, but about 1,000 jobs could be affected as part of the review of the business to be unveiled on Wednesday when Thomas Cook delivers its delayed full-year financial results.

Cook’s airline fleet is already being trimmed as the group works on a series of disposals, including the sale of its Spanish hotel chain HCV and a stake in its Indian foreign exchange arm.

Europe’s second-largest travel group is looking to offer a more exclusive range of holidays, from couples-only and family-friendly trips to “murder mystery” tours.

Cook was last month forced to arrange a new £200 million credit facility with 17 bank lenders. However, the costs of restructuring and redundancy payments are expected to come to about £100 million, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley.

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