... but can new management turn things around?
Thomas Cook Group (LSE: TCG) has reported a quarterly loss this morning, with revenue for the three months ended 30 June down 6% to £2,294.8m. After closing at 16.75p yesterday, shares in the company fell as low as 16p this morning, before briefly rebounding up to 16.32p at the time of writing.
The struggling travel group's recent plight was underlined with the trading statement announcing that underlying operating loss for the quarter was £26.5m, compared to a profit of £20.1m in 2011. However, the poor seasonal weather was blamed, as well as a later booking pattern, and as such the company is starting to see strong summer sales pick up.
The company has sought to increase liquidity by completing the disposal of HCV Hotels, which generated proceeds of some £58m, as well as the aircraft sale and leaseback, which will generating proceeds of around £189m.
Strategies such as this offer shareholders a glimmer of light, as it offers assurances that the company is not just being run into the ground. Indeed, a change of management can herald a new dawn, and Harriet Green joined on 30 July as group chief executive, with Michael Healy appointed group chief financial officer on 1 July.
Commenting, Green said: "My initial focus is to review our businesses, quickly establish priorities and develop a clear plan to reinvigorate Thomas Cook. The Group has been through a difficult period, but much has been achieved which has strengthened the balance sheet and improved liquidity."
If the change in management is successful, and the turnaround plan remain on track, then the shares could result in being somewhat of a bargain at their current price. However, the travel group's troubles have been well documented, and as such they are likely to be considered only as a falling knife for ambitious investors.
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> Sam does not own shares in Thomas Cook.