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

Dart Group PLC Company Reports

Interim Results 2017

Interim Results 2017

Chairman's Statement

I am pleased to report on the Group's trading performance for the half year ended 30 September 2017 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 in terms of passenger volume growth for both Jet2holidays and Jet2.com, though a challenging season in terms of pricing, Group operating profit increased by 22% to £204.9m (2016: £167.5m) and Group profit before foreign exchange revaluation and tax by 18% to £198.2m (2016: £168.3m).

However, increased losses are to be expected in the second half of the year as we continue to invest in additional aircraft, advertising and people in readiness for further flying programme expansion at all our operating bases in the summer 2018 season.

The Group generated increased net cash flow from operating activities of £257.2m (2016: £226.5m), driven by Leisure Travel trading performance. Total capital expenditure of £90.4m (2016: £80.1m) included the purchase of new Boeing 737-800NG aircraft plus pre-delivery payments, which have been substantially financed, for further new aircraft deliveries. We also continued to invest in the long-term maintenance of our existing aircraft fleet and funded the set-up of aircraft self-handling operations at Manchester and East Midlands airports.

New loans were drawn down as the Group continued to secure commercial debt and on balance sheet lease funding for the purchase of its new aircraft. As a result, at the reporting date, market deposit balances had increased by £242.1m (2016: £183.1m) to £931.1m (2016: £595.1m), which included advance payments from Leisure Travel customers of £345.8m (2016: £243.0m) in respect of their future holidays and flights. Net cash, stated after borrowings of £574.2m (2016: £129.4m), was £356.9m (2016: £465.7m).

Basic earnings per share increased to 117.44p from 90.65p in 2016. In view of the outlook for the full year, the Board has decided to pay an increased interim dividend of 1.5p per share (2016: 1.375p). The dividend will be paid on 5 February 2018 to shareholders on the register at 29 December 2017.

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