Thomas Cook cut winter losses by £30 million despite 250,000 fewer holidaymakers travelling to Egypt.
The impact of the downturn in Egypt reduced revenues and profits by £131 million and £14 million respectively.
Traditional winter losses were reduced from £217 million in the same period a year earlier to £187 million.
Summer ‘concept’ hotel bookings are up by 44% and winter 2014/15 bookings are up by 11% with average selling prices up by 2%, the group reported.
Around a third of overall revenue is now coming from more flexible rather than traditionally packaged holidays.
Cook’s summer 2014 booking performance is described as “developing well with solid volumes in main markets”.
Online bookings increased to almost 39% over the last six months. Annual web-booked revenues now represent about £3 billion, with mobile and tablet bookings at almost £0.5 billion.
Tour operator bookings via tablets and mobile devices are up 72% compared with the same time last year, desktop conversion rates are up 17% and UK-branded traffic on Thomascook.com has increased by double-digit percentage points since the launch of marketing campaigns in June 2013.
Cook revealed plans to introduce a new fully-responsive website with a substantially improved user interface in the UK followed by other markets over the coming months.
A new FlyTC site – described as first fully-responsive major airline site in the UK, where its screen size automatically adjusts to fit mobile devices and tablets – has delivered “excellent” tablet conversion in its first month of launch.
Summer bookings from the UK are 1% lower than last year, in line with a similar reduction in capacity with capacity 66% sold, the same as this time last year.
Headline average selling prices are 3% lower than last year due mainly to product mix and a higher proportion of shorter duration holidays reflecting customer demand, Cook said.
Cook said: “Consistent with our strategy, we expect selling prices to improve as we sell a higher proportion of exclusive hotel product to UK customers.
“However, although bookings for these products have shown strong growth for the summer 2014 season, they do not yet represent a significant part of the UK business.”
Chief executive Harriet Green said Cook was on target to achieve £20 million of additional “cost out and profit improvements” to more than £460 million by 2015.
An addition £150 million of benefits have been identified “with substantially more to come” as part of a 2018 target of more than £400 million.
Green said: “We believe that these, in addition to over £1.2 billion in targeted incremental new product revenue in 2017, will transform our profitability and generate superior returns for our shareholders.”
She added: “These results mark a significant milestone in the successful delivery of our strategy for sustainable profitable growth, the progress on which Standard & Poor’s recently recognised by raising their outlook to ‘positive’ from ‘stable’.”
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