THOMAS Cook risks collapse after its share price tumbled another 40 percent yesterday after losing nearly £1.5billion.
The UK’s oldest travel company is struggling with massive debts and has seen its value plummet from £2.2bn to £180m in one year.
On Thursday, the firm issued a fresh profit warning and reported a half-year loss of almost £1.5bn after a goodwill write-off of £1.1bn, reports The Times.
Analysts at investment bank Citigroup yesterday branded their shares “worthless” and said they should be marked at zero.
Thomas Cook, which served 22 million customers last year, has debts of around £1.25bn.
News of the company’s problems has caused panic among some of its customers.
On the Thomas Cook Facebook page, one traveller posted: “I’m flying to Menorca six weeks today. I hope the financial situation will be settled soon.
Another said: “I just booked for next May to Turkey I really hope your not going into liquidation.
A third wrote: “Are you going into administration? because I have a holiday booked in October.”
The company has struggled in recent years to keep up with changing habits of customers in the advent of the internet bookings including agregator sites which offer low prices for flights and hotels.
However, Thomas Cook boss Peter Fankhauser has blamed Brexit uncertiantly and last year’s heatwave for the downturn in business.
He said: “The prolonged heatwave last summer and high prices in the Canaries reduced customer demand for winter sun, particularly in the Nordic region, while there is now little doubt that the Brexit process has led many UK customers to delay their holiday plans for this summer”
In February, the company put their airline business up for sale in a bid to raise some much-needed cash and reduce its debt.
Bosses are also carrying out cost-cutting measures including sacking 150 head office workers and closing 21 shops resulting in the loss of 320 retail jobs
Auditors Ernst & Young this week said there was “material uncertainty” around the sale of the firm’s airline division.
However, while publishing its half-year results, the auditor said that the company, a British household name, should be able to stay afloat considering all the uncertainties it faces.
Thomas Cook said that all its holidays are ATOL-protected meaning customers will be able to get a refund if it collapses.
In a tweet, the firm wrote: “This announcement has no impact on future holidays or flight only bookings. All our holidays are fully ATOL-protected, so customers can continue to book with confidence.”