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Thomas Cook reports £398 million pre tax loss for 2010/11 financial year

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Thomas Cook plc, Europe's second largest tour operator, has unveiled a £398 million pre tax loss for 12 months to 30 September 2011 on revenues of £9.81 billion, compared to a profit of £42 million on revenues of £8.89 billion a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

 

Revenue increased 10% (8% at constant currency) to £9,809m on volume, price and mix gains and benefits from acquisitions;

Good performances in Central Europe, Northern Europe and Airlines Germany offset by a fall in UK profit and the impact of MENA disruption, particularly in France resulting in a 16% reduction in underlying profit to £304m;

Exceptional charges of £573m resulted in a loss before tax of £398m (2010: £42m profit). The charges are largely non-cash and include £428m of impairments and write-downs. Cash exceptionals were £90m (2010: £158m);

Free cash inflow improved by £50m to £18m despite the fall in profits;

Implementation of UK turnaround plan underway. Turnaround expected to deliver £110m annualised improvement in profitability, following a phased build-up over three years;

Further progress on asset disposals made, with the sale of five hotels in Spain, that will result in an estimated net debt reduction of £81m;

Cautious stance on winter capacity taken in UK, Central and West & East.

 

Sam Weihagen, Group Chief Executive, Thomas Cook Group plc said: “This has been a very challenging year for the Group, despite which we still delivered an underlying operating profit of over £300m. We have instigated significant management changes and implemented a turnaround plan in the UK to address our areas of underperformance. We continue to take action to substantially strengthen the balance sheet and the Board is undertaking a full strategic review. I am confident that these changes will improve profitability and build a stable foundation from which to rebuild shareholder value. Customers have been very supportive in recent weeks and are continuing to book with Thomas Cook. Bookings outside the UK were broadly unaffected by news of our refinancing and in the UK bookings have recovered well. For over 170 years Thomas Cook has provided customers with fantastic holiday experiences and we will continue to do so.”

 


Royal Caribbean International launches new global brand campaign, beckoning consumers to hear the call of the sea

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Royal Caribbean International today launched a new brand campaign that embodies the most inspirational element at the very core of the global cruise line’s offering … the sea. The campaign is aimed at reawakening consumers to the sights and sounds of the sea and conveys the relaxation, romance and adventure that only can be had on the open waters aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation. The campaign will kick off with playful imagery of a conch shell as a phone – dubbed the “Shellphone” – and communicates the campaign’s decree: “The Sea is Calling. Answer it Royally.”

Through the new campaign, Royal Caribbean is addressing the emotional aspects and motivations for taking a vacation with the award-winning cruise line “The Sea is Calling. Answer it Royally.” engages consumers and invites them to explore their individual best selves on a Royal Caribbean ship. The new campaign speaks to the universal truths discovered through focus groups and quantitative research conducted in 16 countries around the world, where people feel a connection to the sea; where, at sea, one can feel detached from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and the responsibilities of taking care of everyone else; and that the Royal Caribbean brand conveys a sense of quality and best in class. Throughout, "The Sea is Calling. Answer it Royally." is presented in an easily relatable fashion through the playful and witty tone of voice for which Royal Caribbean has been known, particularly through the "Shellphone."

“We are tapping into the sea’s powerful, emotional force to reframe the context of cruising for consumers who don’t understand what a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation offers,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president, Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “‘The Sea is Calling’ is a global-scale campaign that will resonate with people no matter where they live, what language they speak, or whether or not they’ve cruised before. And we want vacationers everywhere to know that Royal Caribbean’s distinctive and innovative ships, personal service and breadth of destination experiences is how we ‘Answer it Royally.’”

Created by Royal Caribbean’s lead advertising agency, JWT New York, in partnership with media agency Mindshare, the campaign will unfold over the coming weeks and officially launch in North America in January 2012, and then deploy globally throughout the new year. The Shellphone will begin appearing on Dec. 19 in a series of wild postings in major cities including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston and Miami. Headlines incorporated in the teaser campaign, such as “Not 3G, Sea G” and “Our Rollover Plan: Tan Front, Then Back,” center on the Shellphone, driving curious consumers towww.TheSeaisCalling.com, where they will view the new brand campaign’s concept video that reminds them of the call of the sea and invites them to answer it with Royal Caribbean.

The official kick-off will be the airing of aspirational television commercials of everyday people interacting with the “Shellphone” (30-second and 60-second versions) beginning Jan. 9, 2012. Consumers also can answer the call of the sea by declaring where in the world they would like to cruise and be entered into a sweepstakes atwww.Facebook.com/RoyalCaribbean. More information about “The Sea is Calling. Answer it Royally.” is also available atwww.TheSeaisCalling.com.

Royal Caribbean has been committed to answering the call of the sea for the past 40 years, sailing every major sea in the world. With its history of creativity and innovation – delivering many at-sea industry firsts, such as ice rinks, rock climbing walls, zip lines and Broadway shows – the cruise line continues to strive to deliver to guests an unforgettable and rejuvenating experience that appeals to vacationers of all ages.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 innovative ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.

UK private equity group Star Capital to buy Blohm + Voss civilian shipbuilding – report

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

The civilian shipbuilding business of Blohm + Voss, which is part of the German engineering group Thyssen Krupp, has been sold to British private equity company Star Capital, the Reuters news agency reports.

"The Marine Systems supervisory board approved this today," one of the two people told Reuters on Friday. Star Capital declined to comment. The assets up for sale include three civilian shipbuilding units -- yacht-builder Blohm + Voss Shipyards, ship repair unit Blohm + Voss Repair and components maker Blohm + Voss Industries,” the report said. The naval shipbuilding activity is the company is not part of the deal.

The Blohm + Voss repair yard in Hamburg has recently refurbished Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 and P&O Cruises’ Oriana. Both companies are part of the Carnival Corp & plc group. The company is also a well known builder of megayachts. 

Star Capital says on its website that it invests in capital intensive sectors in Western Europe, with focus on companies that have an enterprise value between €100 million and €1 billion and are strategically positioned in their areas of business.

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