Launches a process of strategic review of the airline business for greater financial flexibility
Thomas Cook Group announced Thursday a strategic change of its business that will involve the «strategic review» of the group’s air division, Thomas Group Airlines, in which all options will be considered, among which a sale is not ruled out, for increase the value of the group’s shareholders.
«We need greater financial flexibility and greater resources to accelerate the execution of our differentiation strategy: invest in the strengthening of our own brand hotels, continue to digitize our sales channels and drive greater efficiencies,» said the group’s CEO British tourist, Peter Frankhauser.
The chief executive of Thomas Cook has ensured that this review process is at an «early stage» so more information will be provided in due time, but has insisted that «all options to increase shareholder value will be considered. and intensify the strategic focus «.
In this regard, the manager has stressed that the group has undergone a significant transformation in the last five years, optimizing its operations and focusing both on its airlines and its tour operators. However, to accelerate your strategy in own-brand hotels you need financing.
Recently, Thomas Cook Hotel Investments (TCHI), the investment arm of Thomas Cook and LMEY Investments, closed a round of financing of 51 million euros with CaixaBank in order to acquire hotels in Spain, especially in the Canary Islands, and in other countries. around the Mediterranean.
Regarding its air division, Thomas Cook explains that until now its objective has been to grow profitably to become a leading leisure air group in Europe, which has involved the continuous review of its cost structure to maintain competitiveness in a market «very fragmented.»
In fact, at the beginning of 2018 it created a new airline, based in Mallorca, called Thomas Cook Airlines Balearic to complement its offer by joining the different airlines owned by the British tour operator, occupying the gap left by the cessation of Monarch Airlines.
The new subsidiary joined the rest of the airlines of the tour operator based in Germany as Condor, United Kingdom and Scandinavia, adding a new certificate of air operator (AOC, in its acronym in English) on the Balearic island.
Currently, Thomas Cook Airlines operates with a fleet of 103 aircraft. In 2018, it experienced strong growth with 20 million passengers, revenues of 3,500 million pounds sterling (3,991 million euros) and operating profits of 129 million pounds sterling (146.7 million euros), 37% more .
Thomas Cook, who has advanced its quarterly accounts, has highlighted the progress in its cost structure, but pointed out that the reserves reflect the uncertainty of demand, especially in the United Kingdom.