Jet2 owner Dart Group’s profit falls 10% to £153m

Shares of Leeds-based Dart Group, owner of and Jet2holidays, fell about 4% on Thursday after it published results for the year ended March 31, 2020, showing profit before tax fell 10% to £153.2 million despite revenue rising 21% to £3.58 billion.

“After accounting for a net exceptional charge of £108.4m due to hedge ineffectiveness as a direct result of Covid-19 and £8.1m loss on foreign exchange revaluations, profit before taxation from continuing operations decreased by 11% to £147.7m,” said Dart.

“Despite the fact that had to suspend its flying programme in mid-March due to the travel restrictions imposed by governments across Europe as a result of the spread of Covid-19, the leisure travel business still achieved overall single sector flown passenger growth of 14% to 14.62m (2019: 12.82m), which contributed to an increase in revenue of 21% to £3,584.7m.”

Since March 31, Dart Group has enhanced its liquidity position to deal with the effects of Covid-19 by securing eligibility for £300 million of funding under the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) and completing a successful share placing that raised £171.7 million.

Dart also soldg its logistics business Fowler Welch for £98 million.

Dart Group executive chairman Philip Meeson said in his outlook: “The beginning of the new financial year has brought significant challenges for the entire leisure travel industry.

“The decisions and actions we have taken since have been guided by our commitment to maintain our responsible balance sheet management and carefully protect our cash balance, to enable the business to exit the Covid-19 period in a stable commercial position and to be able to capitalise on the upturn opportunity when it arrives.

“Group performance for the financial year ending 31 March 2021 is largely dependent on the level of flying permitted for the remainder of the summer 2020 period, as well as performance in the second half of the 2021 financial year, periods for which we currently still have limited visibility.

“Despite the uncertainty, our current monthly load factors for winter 20/21 are satisfactory and summer 2021 bookings, which are showing a materially increased package holiday mix, are encouraging.”