Thomas Cook enters into hotel partnership with LMEY, outlook unchanged

Rising euro means holidays are pricey for many Brits Shutterstock

Rising euro means holidays are pricey for many Brits Shutterstock

"I look forward to welcoming Bill to the board in the new year to support us through the next phase of the group's development", said Chairman Frank Meysman.

Tour operator Thomas Cook has formed a strategic partnership with LMEY Investments to grow its own-brand hotel portfolio, as it confirmed its full-year outlook. It bought the stake in Aldiana from LMEY for an undisclosed price. Aldiana operates eight club resorts across Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Tunisia and Austria.

In addition, Thomas Cook and LMEY have entered into an agreement to work together to create a joint hotel investment platform, with seed assets of a combined value of around £150mln, in order to accelerate the growth of Thomas Cook's own-brand hotels portfolio.

Peter Fankhauser, the firm's chief executive said: "Thomas Cook has enjoyed a good summer".

"The development of a strong portfolio of own-brand hotels is absolutely key to our success", Fankhauser said in a statement. "This is yet another example of the way that we are transforming our business through partnerships", he added.

The news came alongside Thomas Cook's latest trading update, with the outlook for full-year underlying earnings before interest and taxes unchanged.

However, he added that Thomas Cook has resumed selling holidays to Tunisia, which could off-set some of the demand.

In the United Kingdom, overall bookings are 8% higher with pricing in line with a year ago, which Cook said reflected good seat-only sales in the airline.

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Its winter 2017/18 programme is 37% sold, consistent with the same period past year.

Apportioning blame to the weak pound and safety fears - which have stopped people visiting places Egypt and Turkey - he said the price hike will manifest by next summer.

The winter programme is 37% sold so far, bookings are up 3% and average selling prices are up 2%.

In the United Kingdom, winter bookings are up 5%, against a strong comparative period, with pricing up 3%.

"Overall bookings and pricing are ahead of previous year, reflecting a good performance from the United Kingdom and Northern Europe in particular", it said.

Its summer 2017 programme is now 91% sold, 2% more than at this time previous year.

Thomas Cook Sport has been unveiled as preferred travel supplier for reigning European Champions & Aviva Premiership club, Saracens.

"Sales have been driven by strong customer demand for our improved holiday and flight offering to a wide range of destinations including Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus, together with long-haul destinations such as the United States of America", said the update.

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