Air Partner announces first-half results

By Doug Gollan, October 8, 2019

Gross profit of £17.2 million was “stronger than levels anticipated at the time of AGM”

U.K.-based charter and jet card broker Air Partner said its gross profit was £17.2  million for the first half of its financial year, which ended in July. It said the results are “in line with prior period and stronger than levels anticipated at the time of AGM.”

Air Partner sells jet cards with fixed hourly rates that cover Europe, and North America, including the Caribbean and Mexico. During the summer, it introduced one-way transatlantic fixed rates starting with just a 10-hour commitment.

Air Partner finances

Profit before tax dropped to £3.0 million from £4.2 million, which it said reflected investment in overheads for future growth. while statutory profit before tax was up 6.8% to £2.8 million. In April, Liberum Capital had rated Air Partner a buy.

Basic EPS was up 13.9% to 4.1 pence; underlying EPS of 4.3 pence, down 30.6% on the prior year. The interim dividend of 1.80 pence was an increase of 0.05 pence (2.9%) over the prior year. Net cash (excluding JetCard cash) increased to £4.3 million from £2.0  million at 31 January 2019.

Air Partner
Air Partner said financial results for its first half were in line with expectations.

Highlights included gross profit in the US increased by 18.2% following was it said was “further investment over the last year.”  Cash from jet card deposits increased by £0.8 million from the year-end, driven by growth in US customers.

Other movements included gross profit in Consultancy & Training increasing by 7.6%; Slower Group Charter trading (gross profit down 14.4%) compensated by Private Jets and Freight (gross profit up 10.0% and 22.6% respectively). Administrative expenses were up 7.3% attributed to investment to drive further organic growth.

Air Partner in the U.S.

Mark Briffa, CEO of Air Partner, in a prepared statement, wrote, “I am pleased to report on a solid first-half performance, despite a challenging operating environment. It is clear from these results that our strategy to diversify by revenue stream and geography is working, with Consulting & Training compensating for slower trading in our Group Charter division.”

He added, “Additionally, our earlier investments in the US are showing good results, with Private Jets trading particularly well in the period. We are pleased with the return we are generating on our organic growth initiatives and believe there is plenty of headroom for further growth too. We continue to invest in new offices, people and processes to increase market share in all our geographies. I am confident that we have the right platform in place to achieve our stated strategy to become a world-class aviation services group.”

Group Charter charters large airliners to move groups of any size. Private Jets offers the Company’s unique pre-paid JetCard scheme and on-demand charter for up to 19 people. Freight charters aircraft of every size to fly almost any cargo anywhere, at any time. Air Partner Remarketing provides comprehensive remarketing programs for all types of commercial and corporate aircraft to a wide range of international customers.

Air Partner has 14 offices across three continents, with its headquarters located alongside Gatwick airport in the UK. The group employs around 350 people globally and operates 24/7. Plans are for a new office opening in Dubai expected by the end of the year.

Looking towards the future, Briffa said, “We continue to assess acquisitions that can enhance or extend the services and capabilities we offer our customers and will ultimately strengthen and advance our business.”

He added,  “We expect Air Partner to deliver profits in the second half of the year in line with the first half of the year and to meet market expectations. The Board remains confident in the future prospects for the business and is encouraged by the forward order book and pipeline of business opportunity for next year.”

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