15 Dec 2011

Thomas Cook to close 200 branches

12:01 pm on 15 December 2011

Thomas Cook is to close 200 branches in Britain over the next two years as part of a business turnaround plan.

The travel agency on Wednesday reported a loss of £398 million for the year to the end of September.

Of the closures, 22 are already in progress.

Thomas Cook blames the unrest in Egypt and Tunisia and floods in Thailand for hitting sales.

Business has also been further hurt by news of the company's financial troubles.

Shares in Thomas Cook fell about 3.5% in early trading on Wednesday.

They have shed more than 90% of their value since March.

The BBC reports the company has been cutting its debts to restore the confidence of investors and interim chief executive Sam Weihagen says it cannot have shops which are not profitable.

The firm also plans to cut its airplane fleet from 41 to 35, and drop 500 hotels from its offerings.

In November, Thomas Cook secured £200 million in new financing from Barclays, HSBC, RBS and UniCredit until 30 April 2013.