December 1 - It was a money-spinner for many, not least the Olympic Movement – but the London 2012 gravy train left some passengers standing on the platform.
Thomas Cook, the travel group that was the official short break provider to London 2012, has disclosed that its Olympic and Paralympic-related activities contributed a net loss to its financial results for the year to September 30.
The company said that while sale of exclusive ticket-plus-accommodation packages generated a trading profit of £9.6 million ($15.4 million/€11.8 million), an overall net loss of £17.2 million ($27.6 million/€21.2 million) had been recognised.
This was in the context of an increased pre-tax loss for the group of £485.3 million ($778.8 million/€598.5 million), up from just under £400 million ($642 million/€493 million) the previous year.
A spokeswoman for the company explained that the net loss took into account the fee paid for the right to market the packages, as well as marketing costs.
Thomas Cook, she added, had originally packaged many tickets for corporate clients.
This market, however, turned out to be smaller than expected – something attributed partly to new legislation and partly to the weak economy.
The company had accordingly repackaged tickets for individual consumers, generating less income and incurring additional cost.
The spokeswoman said that Thomas Cook had taken 85,000 people to the Games.
She argued that, notwithstanding the loss, the Thomas Cook brand would have benefited from association with a universal success story.
Stephen Vaughan, the managing director of Thomas Cook's London 2012 partnership, who is about to take up a new post as managing director of Gloucester Rugby Club, said: "Thanks to Team GB, Paralympic GB and our amazing team of over 150 Games time colleagues, our customers had a memorable time and a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
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