UK holidaymaking firm Thomas Cook has issued a fresh profit warning on Thursday after revealing that UK travellers had cited Brexit uncertainty as reasons for postponing travel plans.
Thomas Cook bought MyTravel in 2007 following amid a £303m loss in profits and revalued the package holiday company "in light of the weak trading environment".
— Ben Thompson (@BBCBenThompson) May 16, 2019
To date, Thomas Cook has closed 21 branches across the UK and slashed its available holiday packages due to weakening sales.
Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser said: "The first six months of this year have been characterised by an uncertain consumer environment across all our markets.
He added that last summer's "prolonged heatwave", in addition to higher prices in the Canaries, had "reduced customer demand for winter sun, particularly in the Nordic region, while there is now little doubt that the Brexit process has led many UK customers to delay their holiday plans for this summer."
Rising fuel and hotel costs have also impacted the firm's profits and are predicted to do so for the rest of the year, the statement said, adding that it had sold just 57 percent of its summer holiday packages and that tour operator bookings had fallen 12 percent.
— James Holland (@James7Holland) May 16, 2019
Hargreaves Lansdown senior analyst Laith Khalaf said: "Trading in the UK market is challenging, with consumers delaying holiday plans until there's some clearer direction on Brexit. With last year's heat wave fresh in the memory, many British holidaymakers will no doubt be thinking it's best to stay put this summer."
He added that Thomas Cook had scaled back holiday packages "in response to lower consumer demand," but that also the increasingly competitive market meant that the firm had "offer discounts to get customers to part with their cash."