Cook update due amid hotspot unrest


Thomas Cook's update will reveal how the unrest in Egypt and Tunisia has affected its business

Investors will be looking at package holiday operator Thomas Cook’s update on Tuesday for guidance on how the unrest in Egypt and Tunisia has affected its business.

Riots on the streets of Tunisia last month caused 3,000 British citizens to return home while the uprising in Egypt prompted the Foreign Office to advise against all but essential travel to the cities of Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez.

Thomson Holidays owner TUI Travel has warned the disruption in the two countries could cost it up to £30 million in lost earnings after it cancelled trips. Thomas Cook sells 900,000 holidays to Egypt a year and 600,000 to Tunisia and holidays to the two countries make up an estimated 8% of the company’s sales, according to Wyn Ellis, an analyst at Numis Securities.

Meanwhile, Rolls-Royce is likely to provide more details on the cost of dealing with the aftermath of an engine explosion on a Qantas superjumbo when it reports full-year results on Thursday.

The firm is expected to report a 3% rise in pre-tax profits to £945 million in 2010 and an 8% increase in sales to £10.9 billion, despite the investigation and remedies required following the incident, according to analysts.

The Qantas A380 superjumbo was flying between Singapore and Sydney when it was forced into an emergency landing after a Rolls Trent 900 engine caught fire in mid-air, causing the airline to ground its entire fleet.

The Derby-based company quickly identified the cause of the problem and said it had agreed a series of checks and inspections with authorities, Airbus and operators of the Trent 900-powered jets to begin allowing affected planes to resume flights.

Guinness and spirits maker Diageo is expected to show continued sales and profits growth when it reports its half-year results on Thursday.

Diageo, which makes Captain Morgan rum, Gordon’s gin and Smirnoff vodka, should grow sales by 5% to £5.5 billion and operating profits by 6% to £1.6 billion in the second half of 2010, according to analysts at RBS.

Diageo reported in its last trading update, in October, that organic net sales grew by 5% in its first quarter and reiterated its forecast that organic operating profits growth in the full year will improve on last year. Diageo said that weak consumer markets in Europe have been offset by strong performances in North America and emerging markets such as Russia.

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