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Thomas Cook reports 35% of its retail transactions take place online

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Thomas Cook this week said 35% of its retail transactions took place online in the year to the end of June. The travel company, currently going through a turnaround programme, aims to boost the proportion of customers who buy over the internet to 50% by 2015.

In 2012, that figure stood at 34%. In an interim management statement this week, Thomas Cook also said the visibility of the website had improved on natural search. It claimed the title of “most visible holiday website on Google UK, with 59% of all generic holiday searches made over laptop and desktop computers pointing towards it. It was also the second most visible website for generic holiday searches made via tablets and smartphones, appearing in 68% of searches.

The update came as Thomas Cook reported slight growth in revenue, up to £5.6bn in the nine months to June 30, from £5.5bn at the same time last year. Bottom-line pre-tax losses narrowed to £470m from £667m last time. Meanwhile, net debt more than halved to £452m from £1.1bn at the same time last year, following a £1.6bn cpital refinancing.

The company said that 85% of planned capacity was now sold for summer 2013, while there was 9% less committed capacity that was still to be sold in the lates market than at the same time last year.

“We have continued to make significant progress transforming Thomas Cook,” said Harriet Green, group chief executive. She added: “Since the announcement of our half-year results 11 weeks ago, we have again delivered improved operating results, stronger margins, further cost our benefits, improved cash conversion and a number of exciting new web and other product developments. However this is just the start. We see huge potential in Thomas Cook and its realisation remains our overriding priority.”

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