Thomas Cook Groupannounced on 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 the options will be considered, among which a sale is not ruled out, to 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 CEO of the tourism group. British,Peter Frankhauser.
The chief executive of Thomas Cook assured that this review process is in"an early stage",so that more information will be provided in due time, but insisted that "all options will be considered forincrease the value for shareholdersand intensify the strategic focus ".
In this regard, the manager stressed that the group has undergone a significant transformation in the last five years, optimizing its operations and focusing on both its airlines and its tour operators. However, to accelerate its strategy in own-brand hotelsyou 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 withCaixaBankwith the objective of obtaining hotels in Spain, especially in the Canary Islands, and in the countries around the Mediterranean.
Regarding its air division, Thomas Cook explains that until now its objective has been to grow profitably to become aleading air leisure group in Europe,which has involved the continuous revision of its cost structure to maintain competitiveness in a "very fragmented" market.
In fact, in early 2018 he createda new airline, based in Mallorca,named Thomas Cook Airlines Balearic to complement its offer by joining the different airlines owned by the British tour operator, occupying the space left by the cessation of Monarch Airlines.
The new subsidiary joined the rest of the airlinesof 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 witha 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 his quarterly accounts, has highlighted theprogress in its cost structure,but he pointed out that the reserves reflect the uncertainty of demand, especially in the United Kingdom.