Air Partner 2012 half year results

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Air Partner releases half year results to 31 January 2012

Air Partner is a leading
provider of private aviation services to industry, commerce, governments and
private individuals worldwide.

Air Partner released its half
year results to 31 January 2012. The company traded profitably despite the
challenging market conditions. Overcapacity in the commercial jet broking
sector resulted in lower trading levels, against a strong comparable period.
The private jet broking division of Air Partner saw some good international
client wins, as earlier investment in sales started to produce results. Looking
ahead, Air Partner is focused on growing revenues, while reducing the cost base
to reflect the Group’s current aims and strategy.

  

Results

·        
Group Revenue

Down 8% to £120.5m
(2011: £130.9m)

·        
Group PBT

Down 19% to £2.3m
(2011: £2.8m*)

·         Underlying PBT

Down 56% to £1.3m
(2011: £2.8m*)

·        
PAT

£1.5m (2011: £2.0m*)

·        
Basic EPS

14.8p (2011:
19.1p*)

·        
Diluted EPS

14.7p (2011:
19.0p*)

·        
Cash

£14.3m (2011:
£11.4m)

·        
    Interim
dividend

Maintained at 5.5p
per share (2011: 5.5p per share)

*as restated for FET provision

“underlying” profit is profit
before non-trading items

Richard Everitt, chairman of
Air Partner commented “Lead times across the business remain short, meaning
that visibility of forward bookings is limited, even for the major sporting and
cultural events expected this summer. Current trading patterns are inconsistent
and the Board therefore retains a cautious view on trading prospects for the
remainder of this financial year.

Everitt continued “The Board
recognises the challenge in driving the business forward while market
conditions are tough but expects that the actions already being taken, to
increase sales and to address costs, will materially improve the underlying
profitability of the business in the future.”

Mark Briffa, the chief
executive officer said that the private jet broking division had an increase in
revenue to £20.3 million (2011: £19.0 million), following investment in
specialist sales teams.

Underlying performance was
ahead of the Board’s initial expectations, given the prevailing economic
instability. The investment in additional sales capacity generated revenues but
the full impact has yet to come through. In the meantime, higher overheads
reduced underlying profit in this six month period to £0.3 million (2011: £0.5
million).

The sales effort was seen
clearly in 15 new JetCard sales. Retention of JetCards is evidenced by strong
top-up sales in the UK and
further client renewals in Switzerland
and Germany.
There has also been significant growth in the ad hoc private jet charter
business in the US following
the re-establishment of a dedicated private jet sales force, based in New York.

Air Partner has recognised
the development of newer hubs for private jet activity in different parts of
the world. Enquiries generated by new sales representatives with the skills and
knowledge to work in Ukraine
and Russia
led to a near doubling of revenues in the last year from this region. The Group
expects demand for private air charters to continue to grow in these markets.

The increase in private jet
revenues in this period is testament to clients’ trust in Air Partner to work
hard for them, using the Group’s experience and knowledge of aircraft operators
built up over many years. High net worth individuals and those with impact and
influence continue to charter aircraft. For them, reliability, a high quality
service and attention to schedule are key factors. These are the same elements
which give Air Partner its competitive edge.

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