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Thomas Cook shares collapse on fresh profit warning

Thomas Cook shares collapse on fresh profit warning

A sign is seen outside a Thomas Cook office in central London. (REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File Photo)

LONDON: Thomas Cook shares collapsed by almost one third on Tuesday (Nov 27) as the British travel firm issued a fresh profits warning and suspended its dividend.

The company said underlying annual profits would come in at £250 million (US$321 million) for the 12 months to September.

The group had already warned in September that its annual profits would be slashed to around £280 million.

Thomas Cook will publish final results on Thursday, while 2017/18 earnings were knocked badly by rising costs and a long period of hot European weather over the summer - which saw customers put off last-minute holidays abroad.

On Thursday, Thomas Cook also suspended its annual shareholder dividend, contributing to its share price plunging 30 per cent to 33.94 pence in morning deals.

"2018 was a disappointing year for Thomas Cook," said chief executive Peter Fankhauser, citing the impact of a "prolonged period of hot weather in our key summer trading period".

The stock, which is listed on London's falling second-tier FTSE 250 index, later stood down 24.14 per cent at 36.82 pence.

Thomas Cook's share price has tumbled by almost three quarters since the start of the year, when it stood at about 124 pence.

"The woe continues for shareholders, in what has been an awful year for Thomas Cook," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

"The decision to cut the dividend cannot have been taken lightly.

"However the lack of dividend is likely to be the least of shareholders problems given how badly the shares have performed this year."

Source: AFP/de

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