EXTRA: Thomas Cook Enters Hotel Deal, Replaces CFO As Bookings Up

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He will continue to be deputy chairman of Thomas Cook China and chairman of Thomas Cook Money, the group's new financial services division.

As part of the deal, LMEY sold a 42% stake in German tour operator Aldiana, which operates eight club resorts across Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Tunisia and Austria to Thomas Cook. The company now owns and operates eight clubs in Europe and Tunisia and will open four resorts by 2019.

In addition, Thomas Cook and LMEY have entered into an agreement to work together to create a joint hotel investment platform, with seed assets of a combined value of around £150mln, in order to accelerate the growth of Thomas Cook's own-brand hotels portfolio.

The travel firm said Aldiana will "sit alongside" its existing hotel brands, and boost Thomas Cook's own-brand hotel portfolio. The company's Summer 2017 program is now 91 percent sold, two percent more than this time previous year, the firm said. Moving averages are considered to be lagging indicators that simply take the average price of a stock over a certain period of time.

Away from Spain, the FTSE 250-listed company has registered a slow but steady flow of tourists returning to Egypt and Turkey, two very popular destinations which were shunned over the last 18 months in the wake of a series of terrorist attacks. In the United Kingdom, bookings are up 8% and pricing is in line year-on-year.

Overall group winter bookings are up 3%, supported mainly by a recovery in demand for Turkey and North Africa, with average selling prices up 2%.

The tour operator said its group bookings for Winter 2017/18 is up 3 percent.

Sterling has lost approximately 14% of its value against the euro in the 15 months since last year's Brexit referendum and Thomas Cook's chief executive Peter Fankhauser said he expected prices to increase between 5% and 10% this year. Bookings and pricing in Northern Europe are both up 6%, while Continental Europe bookings are up 4% and pricing is in line year-on-year.

The tour operator said it expects underlying operating profit for the current full financial year ending September 30 to be in line with market expectations. The OTA's main goal is to meet the rebounding travel demand for Egypt and Turkey.

Overall group bookings for summer were up 11 percent compared to the same time past year, with average selling prices up one percent.

"Sales have been driven by strong customer demand for our improved holiday and flight offering to a wide range of destinations including Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus, together with long-haul destinations such as the United States of America", said the update.

A planned strike on Friday by pilots at Thomas Cook in a dispute over pay has been called off. Barclays PLC restated an "equal weight" rating and issued a GBX 100 ($1.34) target price on shares of Thomas Cook Group plc in a report on Friday, June 9th.

Thomas Cook will publish its annual results on November 22.

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