Air Partner's share price jumped nearly 10 per cent this morning after revealing that flying Premier League stars across the globe had helped grow half-year profits by a third.
Contracts with Real Madrid, Manchester City and Leicester City, as well as an increase in business during this summer's football European Championships – where it flew four of the teams including France – led to operating profits at the Gatwick-based firm increasing from £12m to £16m.
The company – which provides a combination of private and commercial flights as well as aviation consulting – reported underlying profit of £3m was the best recorded for eight years according to Gerald Khoo of Liberum.
"Air Partner is delivering strong earnings growth from better execution in its air charter broking divisions. The improvements result from a series of management initiatives, such as improved customer relationship management, targeted recruitment and a focus on higher quality transactions and clients," Liberum said.
The company's private jet division posted record results, generating gross profit of £5.1m and operating profit up 56 per cent to £1.5m.
"The increased profitability was largely driven by a very strong performance in the UK," Air Partner said.
Air Partner – which charts operations back to 1961 – revealed that profits were highly cash generative and took its balance sheet from having a net debt position of £0.5m at the start of the period to net cash position of £5.2m.
"I am very pleased to have seen strong performances across both Broking and Consulting. Our customer focused approach is delivering results and this is evidenced by significant contract wins from both new and existing customers," said chief executive Mark Briffa