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IT initiatives cut costs and increase sales at Thomas Cook

Despite posting losses of £200m in its latest results, travel operator Thomas Cook said that IT-enabled improvements have helped the firm reduce costs

Despite posting losses of £200m in its latest results, travel operator Thomas Cook said that IT-enabled improvements have helped the firm reduce costs and boost bookings.

According to the company, IT centralisation was one of the key actions for taking out cost and improving efficiency, with £43m in cost savings achieved over the period.

Thomas Cook signed a contract with Capgemini last year to enable the replacement of a range of existing IT systems around areas such as travel management, from booking through to delivery.

The travel firm said that another technology-enabled achievement was the build-up of its European online travel agent (OTA). The re-platforming of the company's online offering is "gaining momentum, with changes to the user interface, improved functionality and content gradually being rolled out", it said.

Some £7m has been invested in the OTA initiative, with total gross bookings for the first half up 10% as a result.

The company blamed its decrease in profit on unrest in key travel destinations Egypt and Tunisia as well as the recession.

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