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Thomas Cook narrows losses and sells Gold Medal for £45 million

Thomas Cook cut losses by £10 million today despite the impact of Egypt's political turmoil on bookings in the quarter to December 31.

Revenues were £15 million lower at £1.66 billion but chief executive Harriet Green said there had been further progress in the company's turnaround.

She also announced the £45 million sale of Preston-based Gold Medal, a supplier of long-haul flights, hotels and car hire, to Dubai travel company dnata, which is part of the Emirates Group.

The sale of the business, which employs around 470 people, means the company has met its target to raise between £100 million and £150 million from the sale of non-core businesses about 18 months ahead of schedule.

Gold Medal will continue as a supplier of long-haul scheduled flights to the Thomas Cook businesses in the UK.

Excluding Egypt, Thomas Cook said revenues in the first quarter of its financial year to December 31 grew by 4.1% compared with a year earlier.

Underlying losses in the seasonally quieter trading period improved by £10 million to £56 million, reflecting the company's focus on costs.

Thomas Cook said 86% of its winter programme was now sold, while the summer schedule is around 39% sold, in line with last year.

Average selling prices are expected to increase as the company looks to sell a higher proportion of exclusive hotel offers to UK customers.

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