2007/082006/072005/062004/052003/042002/03Key Documents

Dart Group PLC Company Reports

Interim Results 2016

Interim Results 2016

Chairman's Statement

I am pleased to report on the Group's trading performance for the half year ended 30 September 2016 in our two businesses, “Leisure Travel” - incorporating Jet2holidays, our ATOL protected package holidays operator and Jet2.com, our leading leisure airline - and “Distribution & Logistics”, comprising Fowler Welch, one of the UK's leading logistics providers.

In what has proven to be a strong summer season, Group operating profit increased 14% to £167.5m (2015: £147.1m) and profit before tax by 12% to £163.7m (2015: £146.8m)

The increase in Group operating profit reflects consistent summer trading in our Leisure Travel business as post Brexit bookings showed no signs of slowdown. However, increased losses are to be expected in the second half of the year as we invest in the launch of our new Birmingham and London Stansted Airport bases together with additional aircraft, advertising and people in readiness for further flying programme expansion in the summer 2017 season.

The Group generated increased net cash flow from operating activities of £226.5m (2015: £199.8m), reflecting the improved Leisure Travel trading performance. Total capital expenditure of £80.1m (2015: £60.9m) included the purchase of the Group’s first new Boeing 737-800NG aircraft delivered in September plus pre-delivery payments, which have been substantially financed, for a further two of our future new aircraft. We also invested in a new engineering facility at Manchester Airport, completed the extension to our Teynham distribution facility, added a fourth flight simulator for our training centre in Bradford and continued to invest in the long-term maintenance of our aircraft fleet.

Cash and money market deposits increased by £183.1m (2015: £144.0m), resulting in total cash held at the reporting date of £595.1m (2015: £446.8m), which included advance payments from Leisure Travel customers of £243.0m (2015: £183.7m).

Basic earnings per share increased to 90.65p from 79.82p in 2015.  In view of the outlook for the full year, the Board has decided to pay an increased interim dividend of 1.375p per share (2015: 0.900p). The dividend will be paid on 1 February 2017 to shareholders on the register at 6 January 2017.

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