British tour operator Thomas Cook (TCG.L) said on Tuesday that it had formed a strategic partnership with Switzerland’s LMEY Investments to expand its own-brand hotel portfolio while reiterating its full year outlook.
The travel company also said that Michael Healy, its chief financial officer, is retiring, and will be replaced by director of financial reporting Bill Scott as of January 1.
As part of the deal with LMEY, Thomas Cook acquired from the Swiss company a 42% stake in Aldiana, a German tour operator and hotel management company, which operates eight club resorts in Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Tunisia and Austria, with plans to open another four resorts over the next two years.
Thomas Cook and LMEY also agreed to build a joint hotel investment platform, to speed up the expansion of Thomas Cook’s portfolio of own-branded hotels. The companies will each contribute at least five owned and directly-managed hotels to a joint platform, with a combined value of about 150 million pounds ($202 million) to begin with, which they will then develop into a fund which will acquire further hotel and resort assets in their target destinations.
Thomas Cook said its summer season was “closing out” as it had expected, with overall group bookings up 11% compared with the same period last year and with average selling prices 1% higher.
The holiday company’s airline, Condor, has seen bookings rise 12% in the summer season, with average selling prices in line with last year, helped by a disrupted German airline market and particularly strong demand for flights to Greece, Egypt and the USA. The company continues to expect that Condor will return to profitability for the full year.
Thomas Cook’s winter offerings are 37% sold, it said, and overall group bookings are up 3%, supported mainly by a recovery in demand for its holidays to Turkey, Egypt and other North African destinations. The full-year underlying earnings before interest and tax outlook remains unchanged, it added.
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