6 March 2005

...XRT Globe$ to Provide Improved Planning and Financial Forecasting....

In a move to significantly improve its treasury cash and risk management, international travel operator Thomas Cook has selected Globe$ from leading treasury solutions supplier XRT. XRT Globe$ will form a critical element of Thomas Cook's treasury infrastructure, and will replace a number of existing systems throughout the business, seamlessly connecting local offices to Thomas Cook headquarters. By implementing XRT Globe$, Thomas Cook aims to secure corporate liquidity and improve forecasting, minimise the negative impact of financial risk and optimise its corporate financing structure.

Thomas Cook has headquarters in Oberursel, near Frankfurt, Germany, where its central treasury is located. In addition to its corporate treasury, it has large regional treasuries in the UK and Belgium. The first phase of the implementation will take place at its headquarters, and then gradually roll out to Thomas Cook's subsidiaries throughout 2005.

Central to Thomas Cook's decision to implement XRT Globe$ is the need for a more central view of its cash position and improved forecasting, as Heiko Gerhard Ries, head of group cash management, Thomas Cook, explains. "One of the main objectives of any corporate treasury is to secure corporate liquidity, and to ensure that sufficient funds are available for all payment transactions. With operations in so many locations, it is imperative that we have a very clear view of our financial position at all times, both to ensure short-term liquidity and for longer term planning and forecasting.
Maximising our ability to manage risk - especially currency and interest rate risk, is also extremely important."

A central XRT Globe$ system will be installed at the corporate treasury in Oberursel, which will also allow regional treasuries in the UK, Spain, Austria and Belgium full access to the information and functionality it provides. In addition, c-Globe$ will be installed at local offices, meaning relevant financial information from all subsidiaries can provide accurate data for business forecasting, planning and decision-making via a single platform and browser access. The first phase of the implementation will focus on cash management and integrating XRT Globe$ with local offices. The second phase will involve implementing risk management capability and potential integration with Thomas Cook's existing accounting systems.

"The capabilities offered by XRT Globe$ fulfil a number of our objectives.
The functional depth of XRT Globe$, its proven reliability, and its competitive pricing were all key criteria. The possibility to link it to our ERP systems and the ease with which we will be able to connect with our banking partners, local offices and regional treasuries all help streamline our processes and give us a faster, clearer view of our financial position.
This means better financial control, better financial planning and improved risk management via one databank that includes all elements of our exposure to financial risk," said Ries.

According to Ries, using XRT Globe$ will allow Thomas Cook to significantly enhance financial reporting. Local offices will be able to input local financial data via c-Globe$, and as a result, central treasury will have real time availability to information for decision making. In larger subsidiaries, XRT Globe$ will link to accounting systems, thus allowing for straight through processing (STP) of transactions and automatic payment generation. Links to banks will be managed and maintained at a local level, while the information will be available centrally to aid planning.

Daniel Andres, managing director, XRT Germany, said, "Thomas Cook's decision to implement XRT Globe$ demonstrates the way in which XRT solutions can be used to enhance existing treasury functions, improve efficiency and increase the ability to confidently make long and short term financial decisions. By linking local offices and headquarters, and with the potential to integrate treasury and accounting systems, Thomas Cook will be able to deliver a central treasury function that addresses the breadth of requirements and challenges of an international organisation."

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