Thomas Cook’s chief executive has insisted that the firm’s financial fundamentals are sound, despite the precipitous fall in the share price in the past few days.
Shares closed down by nearly 14 per cent on the day – meaning that the market capitalisation of Thomas Cook has halved in the five days since it revealed poor trading figures.
Speaking exclusively to The Independent, chief executive Peter Fankhauser said that, despite the slump in the value of the firm’s equity, it was trading normally.
“I fully understand if a customer is worried about his holiday with us, given all the noise that we have seen around us,” he said.
“But I can really reassure our customers that their holidays are safe.
“We have ample resources to operate our business through this difficult time.”
Headlines such as “Thomas Cook risks collapse as stock dives” have triggered anxiety among some of the one-million plus travellers who have summer holidays booked with the firm, as well as its 21,000 staff.
On a day in which Ryanair announced a fall in profits of nearly 30 per cent, Mr Fankhauser acknowledged: “We are trading in a very difficult market environment.
“It’s a tough life for me, but for our customers it’s paradise because we have a lot of really, really great offers out in the market.”
The market capitalisation of Thomas Cook is £156m, just 8 per cent of its value a year ago.
There are fears that if prospective customers avoid booking with the company or suppliers tighten their commercial terms, the financial position could worsen still further.
But the chief executive insisted: “We are here to stay.”