Deathwatch: Thomas Cook to close 200 shops
It looks as though ailing trip-pimps Thomas Cook are sinking deeper into the mire after the announcement that 200 of their UK stores will close over the next two years, news that will make the hairstyle of Mary Portas spin round and round in fury.
Staff at 115 of the stores will be told the bad news today, with 661 jobs expected to be axed. The news comes along with the release of figures showing a £398m loss for the year up to the end of September. However, Thomas Cook are blaming exceptional charges of £573m, including the writing down of the value of their business, and say they still made an underlying profit of over £300m.
But their share price has dropped by 90% since March and the company were forced to go cap in hand to the banks last month in an attempt to raise another £200m to see them through the Christmas period. As rivals TUI (Thomson) seems to be going from strength to strength, it will be interesting to see what happens next…