Air Partner provides an update on finances

By Doug Gollan, July 2, 2020

The U.K.-based company sells on-demand charter and jet cards in the U.S. and Europe

Publicly traded Air Partner, which sells on-demand charters and jet cards in Europe and the U.S., has provided another update on its business.

It turns out, the strong results are continuing.

According to a shareholder update issued this morning, “The business continued to perform significantly ahead of budget in June and the unaudited management accounts show an expected underlying profit before tax of at least £10.0 million for the first five months of the year to 30 June 2020. “

It continued, “As has been the case throughout the COVID-19 crisis, this performance has been driven by strong activity in our Freight and Group Charter divisions. Early indications for July are showing an adjustment in our business mix to pre COVID-19 levels, with a recovery in both Private Jets and Safety & Security.”

Canaccord Genuity analyst Gert Zonneveld commented: “The Group performed significantly ahead of budget in June and expects underlying PBT for the period Feb-June 2020 to be at least £10 million. In a previous note, which contained a cautious and an optimistic scenario, we had forecast an underlying PBT range of £8.5m to £10m for H1 FY2021, and a range of £9.5 million to £12.5 million for FY 2021. Based on the progress reported to date, we believe the Group is well on its way to achieve, or possibly exceed, these numbers and deliver record results”

The report breaks down the various sectors of Air Partner’s business.

Air Partner Group Charter

Group Charter had a strong month in June, carrying out repatriation work and corporate shuttles, with the latter particularly strong in Europe and the US as companies continue to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of their employees.

The division also benefitted from a significant corporate project, however, this was a one-off and will not repeat. The company was not disclosed.

Sports-related travel is also showing signs of gains. Although large sporting events scheduled for 2020, such as the Euros and the Olympic Games, were postponed or canceled, Air Partner is now seeing a pick-up in demand from this sector across Europe as sporting events have started to resume.

Air Partner Private Jets

Private Jets, which includes jet cards and on-demand charter, also revealed positive signs of recovery, especially in the U.S., and JetCard has delivered strong sales for the month of June, the company says.

However, the recovery in the Private Jets division in Europe has been slower, hampered by the U.K.’s 14-day quarantine policy for anyone arriving in the country.

Air Partner had previously said U.S. private jet requests spiked 210% in May.

Air Partner Freight

Freight division demand for the transportation of emergency protective personal equipment (PPE) from Asia to the UK, Europe and U.S. remained high. The company said core Freight activity, exclusive of PPE flying, should return to return to pre-COVID-19 levels in the second half of the year.

Air Partner Safety & Security

The company’s Safety & Security division has secured a long-term contract with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and is now also providing consultancy services to private aviation company Jet Edge.

On the Security side, covert testing is showing early signs of recovery, while the Safety team delivered over 50 virtual courses during June, as clients adapt to new operating requirements and standards.

Financial Management

Air Partner said despite strong results over the first five months of its fiscal year, visibility for the second half of the year remains limited,.

Its June 12th completion of Placing of new Ordinary Shares in the capital of the Company raised gross proceeds of approximately £7.5 million.

Air Partner said the move has enabled it to enter the second half of the year with “significantly reduced debt and good working capital to invest in new opportunities arising from COVID-19 that will help drive organic growth.”

At the end of June, the Group has normalized cash in the bank of £16 million, excluding significant customer deposits and JetCard cash. The Group also has access to a total debt facility of £14.5 million, comprising a £13.0 million revolving credit facility (RCF) and a £1.5 million overdraft. As at 30 June 2020, the Group had drawn down £3.0 million of its RCF. The RCF is due to expire in February 2023.

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