Holiday operator Thomas Cook posts narrower first-half loss

LONDON Thu May 15, 2014 2:22am EDT

LONDON May 15 (Reuters) - British holiday operator Thomas Cook reported a smaller first-half loss and said a cost-saving project was ahead of target, giving it confidence in its plan to become a more profitable business in the coming years.

For the six months to March 31 Thomas Cook reported an operating loss of 187 million pounds, a 6 percent improvement on the same period last year, and broadly in line with forecasts of 183 million pounds and 188 million pounds from analysts at Jefferies and Morgan Stanley respectively.

Like most European tour operators and airlines, Thomas Cook generally reports a loss in the traditionally weaker first part of the year and makes the bulk of its profits in the summer months when its customer base tend to take more holidays.

Thomas Cook, Europe's second biggest tour operator by revenues which is currently in turnaround mode, said additional savings helped it to raise a 2015 profit improvement target by 20 million pounds to 460 million pounds. (Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Sophie Walker)