Travel giant Thomas Cook has reported a group revenue increase of 7% to £1,749m in the first quarter, with more customers and higher pricing in both its tour operating and airline businesses.
Gross profit of £376m was £16m higher than last year, while gross margin of 21.5% represents a decline of 50 basis points over the same period last year, due to higher Spanish hotel bed cost inflation and a lower mix of long haul sales in the quarter.
The Group's seasonal underlying loss from operations improved by £10m to £42m, reflecting a good performance by Group Airline, against a weak comparative period for Condor in particular.
Condor's turnaround has continued in line with expectations, leading to an underlying loss of £13m, an improvement of £9m.
The Group Airline, including Condor, carried 3.5 million customers during the period, an increase of 8% compared to last year. Seat load factor increased by 80 basis points to 88%, driven by higher short and medium haul demand.
The Group Tour Operator's underlying loss improved by £1m to £22 million, with all segments achieving a similar result to last year. Corporate costs were £7 million, also in line with last year.
Net debt at end of December 2017 was £1,296m, an increase of £71m over the last 12 months. This includes non-recurring payments totalling £88 million to The Co-operative Group in connection with exiting our UK retail joint venture. On a like-for-like basis, excluding these payments and the effects of currency changes, net debt improved by £65m.