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Thomas Cook reports 10% rise in online bookings, with a third now made via mobile

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Thomas Cook’s online bookings are 10% ahead of the same time last year, the travel company said today. Mobile and tablet bookings, it said, now represent a third of the total. That’s up from about 20% last year.

Thomas Cook said early investment in mobile was yielding results, with mobile and tablet bookings up by 63% and conversion on the devices up by 39%. Overall online conversion grew by 19%, which the company said, in today’s pre-close trading update, reflected increased site efficiency.

The winter 2014/15 season is now almost fully sold, and summer 2015 is more than 50% sold. Trading is in line with management expectations. In the UK market, 92% of the winter 2014/15 season is sold, through average selling prices have fallen by 2%. Some 57% of the summer 2015 season is sold, with average selling prices down by 1% on last year. Bookings to exclusive concept hotels are up by 20% in markets including the UK.

The company said it expected further growth in the year ahead. “Although conditions remain tough in many of our markets, with pricing pressures caused by excess airline capacity and intense competition, trading in Continental Europe and Northern Europe is improving while the UK business continues to perform well,” said chief executive Peter Fankhauser. “We are confident that our strategy of profitable growth through our new product and digital initiatives, supported by cost efficiencies, will lead to further improvements in business performance.

Last week, TUI Travel , which operates the First Choice and Thomson travel businesses in the UK, said in its pre-close trading update that online bookings had grown by 12% for the summer 2015 season, with overall bookings and average selling prices both up by 1%.

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