Dart Group reports a strong summer season in terms of passenger volume growth for both Jet2holidays the package holidays operator and Jet2.com the leisure airline.
Group operating profit increased by 22% to £204.9m (2016: £167.5m) and group profit before foreign exchange revaluation and tax by 18% to £198.2m (2016: £168.3m).
However, the company revealed it was a challenging time in terms of pricing for the half year to end of September.
The group said increased losses are to be expected in the second half of the year as the company continues to invest in additional aircraft, advertising and people in readiness for further flying programme expansion at all its operating bases in the summer 2018 season.
The Group generated increased net cash flow from operating activities of £257.2m (2016: £226.5m), driven by Leisure Travel trading performance.
Total capital expenditure of £90.4m (2016: £80.1m) included the purchase of new Boeing 737-800NG aircraft plus pre-delivery payments, which have been substantially financed, for further new aircraft deliveries.
Investing in the business
The company has also continued to invest in the long-term maintenance of existing aircraft fleet and has funded the set-up of aircraft self-handling operations at Manchester and East Midlands airports.
Basic earnings per share increased to 117.44p from 90.65p in 2016. In view of the outlook for the full year, the Board has decided to pay an increased interim dividend of 1.5p per share (2016: 1.375p).
The City was clearly impressed with Dart Group’s growth and further expansion planning – the share price rose over 9% to 658.50 in mid-morning trading.