Thomas Cook, TUI Travel and easyJet due to report figures this week

Investors will be in holiday mood next week as Thomas Cook, TUI Travel and easyJet are among blue-chip companies due to report figures

Thomas Cook
Thomas Cook

Investors will be in holiday mood next week as Thomas Cook, TUI Travel and easyJet are among blue-chip companies due to report figures.

More good news is expected from easyJet tomorrow as the low-cost airline continues to benefit from its success in attracting business travellers.

The Luton-based carrier posts its half-year results and has already said it expects its seasonal winter loss to be lower than its original guidance.

The airline now predicts losses between £55m and £65m in the six months to March 31, compared with guidance in January of £70m to £90m and losses of £61 a year ago.

Revenues per seat are expected to be 1.5% higher in the six months, driven by allocated seating,digital initiatives and longer average flights.

The group added that cost per seat growth is likely to be around 0.5%, which is better than the guidance of 1.5% issued at the end of January.

Analysts at Numis said easyJet is set for continued growth because it is in a good position to take market share from established carriers and because it has room to attract more lucrative business passengers.

It thinks easyJet will post a loss of £58m. The company, which joined the FTSE 100 Index last year, saw shares surge to a record high at the start of April, valuing it at around £7bn.

The airline is to begin operations from a new base at Naples this spring, while new routes from Hamburg and Rome Fiumicino have also been announced and it will increase the number of routes to Tel Aviv.

Earlier this week easyJet said it carried more than 5.78 passengers last month, which is a 10.2% increase on the total for April last year.

Investors will look to Thomas Cook for further news about the strength of its summer bookings as well as its cost cutting programme when it presents interim results on Thursday.

Latest data from research group GfK showed that March holiday bookings for this summer are flat year-on-year, with revenues down 2%, which reflects a trend for customers to take shorter breaks.

In March, Thomas Cook said its UK summer bookings were up 3% compared to a year ago, with good trading on holidays to northern and continental Europe.

The market will want to see if Thomas Cook can continue this trend, albeit against helpful comparatives a year earlier.

Thomas Cook, under chief executive Harriet Green, is halfway through a three-year plan to drive savings and return the group to profit after its near collapse in 2011 as a result of overcapacity in the holiday market.

Last November, Ms Green outlined plans for a further wave of £440m in cost reductions, having already slashed its network of UK travel agencies from more than 1,100 to 874, leading to about 2,500 job losses.

The group is also making savings by moving from running 85 different brands to 30.

Thomas Cook completed the sale of its interest in The Airline Group, a shareholder in UK air traffic controller NATS, for £38m last November.

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