- Winter bookings higher despite Egypt unrest
- Summer bookings up
- Average selling prices up in winter, flat in summer
Thomas Cook said travel bookings for the winter season are 93 per cent sold despite market disruptions.
Winter bookings this season were adversely affected by continued social unrest in Egypt but the company said it was "successfully mitigated through the more integrated management processes and improved customer service that we introduced last year".
Excluding Egypt, the travel operator achieved higher average selling prices and bookings. Gross margin was supported by improved yield management and cost efficiencies.
"We continue to expand the range of winter sun destinations on offer consistent with our strategy of broadening our product range," the firm said.
In the UK, bookings are 2% higher than last year, excluding Egypt, but average selling prices were 3% lower than last year.
Prices were hurt by a higher proportion of one-week duration holidays and competitive pricing in certain destinations as market capacity was redirected from Egypt.
However, it was offset by significant cost out initiatives as part of an ongoing transformation of the business, which remains on track.
In Continental Europe, average selling prices improved by 4% due to strong performances in most source markets, including Germany, and the reduction of low value, low margin business.
Bookings for Continental Europe were affected by strategic reductions in capacity in France and Russia
Northern Europe bookings are 5% higher than last year, excluding Egypt. Prices reflects a lower share of long haul business compared to last year, particularly to Thailand where capacity was reduced in response to customer demand.
Bookings for Airlines Germany are in line with last year at slightly higher prices as capacity to Egypt was successfully redirected to other destinations.
Summer 2014 is 50% sold, up 1% from this time last year with overall bookings 2% higher than last year. Bookings were driven by UK and Northern Europe, although average selling prices were down 2% in both regions. Average selling prices were flat overall, with a 1% increase in Continental Europe.
"Delivery of our strategy of sustained profitable growth remains on track and our trading, with increased summer bookings, is encouraging," said Chief Executive Harriet Green.
"Winter trading has been satisfactory, despite the significant market disruption caused by continued unrest in Egypt, as our businesses have worked successfully together to offer our customers a wider choice of destinations."