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March 18, 2002
Thomas Cook Selects Accenture to Create Shared Services Centre for the Travel Company’s Finance and IT Functions

LONDON; March 18, 2002 Accenture and Thomas Cook U.K. today announced that the two companies are working together to create a shared services centre to manage finance and IT for the travel company’s business in the U.K. Thomas Cook’s new Peterborough-based centre represents an agreement of $170 million (USD) over 10 years with Accenture.

The outsourcing arrangement will result in the creation of a jointly managed operation, with Thomas Cook retaining control over strategy, policy and investment and Accenture focusing on operational management of service delivery and overall performance of the centre.

The facility will provide IT operations and applications management as well as finance, accounting and payroll services. The shared services model combines the strengths of both companies and is aimed at enabling Thomas Cook to achieve new business process efficiencies and cost savings while increasing the effectiveness of the services provided. As part of creating the centre, approximately 400 Thomas Cook employees will become employees of Accenture, working in both the IT and finance areas.

Alan Stewart, chief executive, Thomas Cook UK, said: “As part of our Business Transformation program we are establishing an outsourced shared services centre with Accenture, that when fully operational, will provide finance, IT and HR administration services to Thomas Cook’s U.K. business in a more efficient and cost effective way. Based at the Thomas Cook Business Park in Peterborough, the shared services centre will play a key role in the future success of our U.K. business.“

“The travel sector, as in many other industries, is becoming increasingly competitive. The shared services model is a flexible, high performing and cost-effective answer for companies that want to dramatically improve internal functions such as IT and finance. The outsourcing approach permits the client’s management to further sharpen their focus on driving the business forward,” said Alex Christou, partner, Accenture’s Transportation & Travel Services industry group. “Outsourcing frees a company from the daily burden of managing non-core functions while retaining control of the overall strategy and policy-setting in these areas, and is aimed at enabling innovation and rapid delivery of business benefits for Thomas Cook.”

About Accenture
Accenture is the world’s leading management and technology services organization. Through its network of businesses approach -- in which the company enhances its consulting and outsourcing expertise through alliances, affiliated companies and other capabilities -- Accenture delivers innovations that help clients across all industries quickly realize their visions. With more than 75,000 people in 47 countries, the company generated net revenues of $11.44 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2001. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

Thomas Cook
Thomas Cook UK Ltd is a leading travel company, employing about 11,000. The company’s principal operations include: Thomas Cook Tour Operations, which includes tour operating brands such as JMC, Club 18-30, Neilson ,Style, Sunworld Ireland, Thomas Cook Holidays, British Airways Holidays; JMC Airlines, the UK’s second biggest leisure airline; and Thomas Cook Distribution, which encompasses 700 high street travel shops, seven Thomas Cook travel warehouses, 800 bureaux de change, four call centres, Thomas Cook TV, a digital channel that broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on holidays and special offers, and thomascook.com, one of the most popular UK travel websites.

Thomas Cook UK is part of Thomas Cook AG, Europe’s second largest travel company.

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