Air Partner expects July profits as it plans to return to a normalized reporting schedule

By Doug Gollan, July 15, 2020

The diversified private jet broker and aviation services company had been providing monthly updates since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic

U.K.-based private jet charter and jet card broker Air Partner will return to a normalized reporting schedule following its annual meeting, scheduled to be held later today.

Since the start of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, the group has been providing monthly updates on its varied businesses.

As part of a current-year update, its chairman Ed Warner will tell shareholders to expect continued profitability in July as the business begins to return to pre-pandemic patterns.

Warner will say business mix in both its Private Jets and Safety & Security divisions are starting to revert to pre-pandemic levels.

Air Partner: “Normalized results”

In an advance release of prepared comments, Warner will say, “To date, the Group’s trading in July has been more normalized and we have seen fewer emergency freight flights and less repatriation work. However, as previously reported, we are encouraged by the level of inquiries we are receiving from our customers returning to our Private Jet and Safety & Security products and we are anticipating a profitable month.”

Warner continues, “While we are very pleased with our performance to date in the current financial year, visibility for the second half remains limited, with economic and regulatory uncertainty from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with this, we have undertaken a number of cost-saving initiatives to reduce our cost base to reflect the likely future demand patterns for our aviation services.”

Air Partner “Significantly ahead of budget”

Speaking of the company’s performance so far, Warner will add, “I am pleased to be able to report that Air Partner took early and decisive action during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring the Group was well positioned to support our global customers’ emergency aviation needs. As a result, we enjoyed a very strong first five months of the financial year to 30 June 2020, trading significantly ahead of budget with unaudited management accounts showing an expected underlying profit before tax of at least £10.0 million.

“At the end of June, the Group had normalized cash in the bank of £16.0 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 today’s date, £3.0 million of the RCF is utilized. The RCF is due to expire in February 2023. I continue to be extremely impressed by our people worldwide and my thanks go to them for their ongoing hard work during this busy and challenging time.”

Canaccord Genuity analyst Gert Zonneveld commented, “Today’s AGM statement confirms that trading in the first five months of the current financial year has been significantly ahead of budget. With an underlying PBT of at least £10.0 million during that period, and the expectation of a profitable July, the Group appears to be well on its way to delivering record interim results. The Group also announced another contract win for Redline, its first in Australia. Despite the excellent start to the financial year, visibility for the second half remains limited. Our recommendation, target price, and forecasts remain Under Review.”

N+1 Singer analyst Greg Poulton added: “The Group continues to deliver impressive results despite a challenging market backdrop. So far in July, crisis-driven activity has reduced, with early signs of recovery in the Group’s core activities.”

Air Partner said its next business update will now be in September.

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