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

Dart Group PLC Company Reports

Interim Results 2019

Interim Results 2019

Chairman's Statement


I am pleased to report on the Group's trading performance for the half year ended 30 September 2019 in our two businesses, “Leisure Travel” - incorporating Jet2.com, our award-winning airline and Jet2holidays, our acclaimed ATOL licensed package holidays operator - together with “Distribution & Logistics”, comprising Fowler Welch, one of the UK's leading logistics providers.

In what has proven to be a satisfactory first half of the financial year, Group operating profit increased by 3% to £365.0m (2018: £354.4m) and Group profit before foreign exchange revaluation and taxation increased by 3% to £349.8m (2018: £340.2m).

The modest increase in profitability reflected a later customer booking pattern in our Leisure Travel business, as customer demand strengthened throughout the course of the summer season.

Pleasingly, profitability in our Distribution & Logistics business grew by 23% to £2.7m (2018: £2.2m), as the strategy of generating margin-enhancing new business opportunities plus improved operational effectiveness paid dividends.

In the first half, the Group generated increased net cash flow from operating activities of £512.5m (2018: £442.9m), predominantly driven by the Leisure Travel trading performance. Total capital expenditure of £72.1m (2018: £132.1m) included additional aircraft, continued investment in the long-term maintenance of our existing aircraft fleet, together with technology and infrastructure projects across the Group. Property, plant and equipment additions also includes the establishment of non-cash right of use assets of £18.9m under the recently implemented IFRS16 - Leases.

As a result, the Group’s cash and money market deposit balances increased in the first half by £381.4m (2018: £389.0m) to £1,655.7m (2018: £1,397.6m). Net cash stated after borrowings and lease liabilities of £1,200.5m (2018: £1,095.5m), was £455.2m (2018: £302.1m), an increase of 51%.

As is typical for the business, losses are still to be expected in the second half, as we continue to invest in additional aircraft and their associated infrastructure, together with the increasing cost of retaining and attracting colleagues in readiness for further flying programme expansion at several of our UK operating bases in the summer 2020 season.

At the reporting date, the Group had received payments in advance of travel from its Leisure Travel customers amounting to £643.5m (2018: £520.7m), had no cash restricted by its merchant acquirers and had no cash placed with counterparties in the form of margin calls to cover out-of-the-money hedge instruments (2018: £nil). In addition, the Group continues to comfortably exceed the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s ‘liquidity threshold test’.

Basic earnings per share increased to 187.0p (2018: 183.0p). In view of the outlook for the full year, the Board has decided to pay an increased interim dividend of 3.0p per share (2018: 2.8p). The dividend will be paid on 3 February 2020 to shareholders on the register at 27 December 2019.

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