June 5, 2019 / 9:59 AM / 3 months ago

Thomas Cook pushes on with Spanish hotel investment despite profit warnings

FILE PHOTO: The Thomas Cook logo is seen in this illustration photo January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas White

LONDON (Reuters) - Thomas Cook is investing 40 million euros in Spanish hotels, the troubled travel firm said on Wednesday, pushing ahead with spending plans despite issuing three profit warnings in less than a year.

The world’s oldest tour operator warned again on profit last month, has put its airline up for sale to raise cash, and agreed a 300 million pound bank facility to provide more liquidity for the 2019/20 winter season.

But the company said on Wednesday it was renewing its commitment to its managed, own-brand hotels in its most popular destination.

While the 40 million euro total - to be invested by summer 2020 - has not previously been announced, some of the investments have been.

“Spain has long been a favourite with our customers – we are bringing more than four million holidaymakers to the country this year alone,” Chief Executive Peter Fankhauser said.

“In a competitive market, we’re proud to be working with our valued hotel partners to upgrade and modernise our portfolio to help keep Spain at the top of the list for the next generation of holidaymakers.”

The firm said it would refurbish 10 own-brand hotels, and said Casa Cook in Ibiza would open this summer, as it strives to hold on to holidaymakers and attract new customers.

Thomas Cook has suffered from intense competition in some of its most popular destinations, including Spain, at a time where demand from UK customers has been hit by uncertainty over Brexit.

It has also suffered a hangover from a unusually hot summer in northern Europe last year, which reduced demand for lucrative last-minute getaways.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Mark Potter

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