Thomas Cook – more IT, fewer carpets

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Thomas Cook Group’s full-year results show that the business continues to spend significantly more on its IT than shop refits.

In the twelve months to the end-September, the firm’s capital expenditure on IT systems came in at £73 million compared with store refits on which it spent £7 million.

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Elsewhere, the business noted that web sales continue to grow as a percentage of total sales, accounting for 43% this year, indicative of a steady increase over the past few years.

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The statement didn’t offer significantly more detail than the slides above. It noted:

“We continue to invest in OneWeb, our international web platform, which is fully live in the UK and currently being trialled in Belgium and the Netherlands. We believe a common web platform will lead to further improvements in web performance across the Group and more efficient web development.

“The increasing use of smartphones for online transactions and web browsing presents us with a significant opportunity to deepen our customer relationships. Through our digital companion apps, live in Northern Europe, the UK and Germany, customers are able to access their booking, make balance payments, view in resort information and book excursions. So far, these apps have been downloaded 1.3 million times.”

Its topline financial performance appears strong in light of what was a pretty tough year for the business – full year revenues of £7.8 billion and earnings before interest and taxation of £310 million are pretty much in line with last year. It is also paying a dividend to shareholders for the first time in five years.

The markets have responded positively with Thomas Cook Group shares on the London Stock Exchange up by 6.7% today.
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