By Daniel Hunter

The chief executive of Thomas Cook says he is "deeply sorry" over the deaths of two children in Corfu in 2006.

Brother and sister Bobby and Christi Shepherd were poisoned by a faulty gas boiler on a Thomas Cook holiday.

Thomas Cook boss Peter Fankhauser also said that he regretted saying that the travel agent had done "nothing wrong" during a hearing at a Coroner's Court.

"My words were poorly chosen and I regret that," said Mr Fankhauser.

"During the past nine years we failed to show the compassion that we should have shown to the family."

Mr Fankhauser's comments come as Thomas Cook's losses narrowed in the six months to the end of March. The holiday firm posted a loss of £303 million for the period, down from £366m in the same period a year earlier.

Airlines and holiday companies typically post losses for the winter months, reporting the vast majority of their profits in the summer.

"We expect that these continuing improvements will lead to further growth in [2015], consistent with our expectations at the full year results last November," said Mr Fankhauser in a statement.

"Our summer 2015 holiday bookings across the group are encouraging, especially for our important fourth quarter, which is offsetting some weakness in the third quarter," the company said.