Shareholders revolt over Thomas Cook pay as cautious outlook hits shares
Thomas Cook Group plc (TCKGY.PK,TCG.L) reported a Group loss from operations (EBIT) for the first quarter of 67 million pounds, compared to a loss of 78 million pounds, last year.
Thomas Cook said that 31 percent of its summer holidays had been sold, with bookings 9 percent ahead of previous year, after it expanded its offerings in Greece and other European countries.
Shares in Thomas Cook fell more than 8 percent on Thursday after the tour operator issued a cautious trading update and saw more than a fifth of its shareholders rebel over its executive pay policy.
Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser said: "In preparation for the summer season, we have expanded our holiday offering to Greece and a number of smaller destinations across Europe, and I'm pleased that this early action is paying off". In addition, its online division saw strong growth, rising up over 20 percent in the United Kingdom and double that figure in Germany.
The group said United Kingdom bookings for this year's key summer season were largely flat - up one per cent overall - as it comes under pressure from rivals in the Spanish island market.
The travel company, originally founded in 1841, produced solid first-quarter results and a rise in summer bookings, but struck a cautious tone on its full-year outlook.
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Standard Life Investments said it had "voted against several of the remuneration resolutions at Thomas Cook's AGM, including the re-election of the remuneration committee chairman and its members", a spokesman said.
"As a result, overall United Kingdom charter risk bookings are slightly behind last year's levels, while pricing is up 9 per cent".
Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: " Times are tough in the European travel industry and Thomas Cook isn't having the best of it, though the good news is things don't seem to be getting any worse".
Just shy of a third of votes went against the 2017 strategic share incentive plan.
But there are concerns over a clause that would allow Mr Fankhauser to claim up to 225 per cent of his £703,800 annual salary - a potential £1.6m - according to investor group Institutional Shareholder Services.
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Feb 08 2017