Leading credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s today increased its outlook on Thomas Cook after a detailed financial review of the group’s progress in implementing its transformation strategy.

S&P raised the outlook on Europe’s second largest travel group from ‘stable’ to ‘positive’. S&P’s rating of the group remains unchanged at “B”.

Group chief executive Harriet Green said: “This is another milestone in the rapid delivery of our strategy of sustainable profitable growth.

“We are very pleased that S&P has recognised the pace and extent of our transformation and we appreciate its confidence in our ability to maintain the momentum.

“As we reported last month, our cost out and profit improvement programme is delivering ahead of schedule and we have reached our target for disposals of non-core interests 18 months early.

“S&P has recognised the importance of our continuing transformation, including the delivery of our strategic targets, and I look forward to sharing a full update of our progress at our half year results on May 15.”

Standard & Poor’s said: “The operating performance of Thomas Cook Group has improved thanks to the ongoing implementation of its turnaround strategy.

“We anticipate that its credit metrics will continue to strengthen as cost-saving initiatives as part of its turnaround strategy lead to EBITDA growth and debt reduction.

“We are therefore revising our outlook on Thomas Cook Group plc to positive from stable, and affirming our “B” long-term corporate credit rating on the company.

“The positive outlook reflects the likelihood of an upgrade within the next 12 months if positive operating trends continue to improve the group’s profitability and credit measures.”