Dart stock nosedives after Jet2 owner warns of weak bookings

PACKAGE holidays and logistics business Dart Group’s shares yesterday plummeted by almost 25 per cent after it warned that current year profits would be lower than previous market expectations.

The warning came on the back of the Leeds-based Jet2 airline-owner’s report of pre-tax profit of £42.1m for the year ended 31 March. This was up four per cent on the £40.5m reported a year earlier, and it was boosted by a 29 per cent increase in revenues to £1.12bn from £869.2m the previous year.

Dart chairman Philip Meeson said that taking into account its summer 2014 forward bookings, it was “finding demand for leisure travel, this summer, to the markets we serve, less buoyant than we would have hoped for and market pricing weak.

“This may be due to the weather, the World Cup, or because the financial recovery hasn’t yet taken hold in our home territory, the north of the UK.”

He added: “Taking people on holiday… and the distribution of produce and prepared foods sold by supermarkets, are much-needed, high-potential businesses. Our scale, experience and competitiveness in each sector gives us optimism in our outlook for the long-term growth of the group.

Dart’s shares ended the day on 190p, down 24.38 per cent.