While most flights were grounded, aviation group Air Partner has enjoyed a profitable year, taking home £11.5m due to its ferrying of PPE throughout the pandemic.
The strong profits followed the group’s buy-up of CHS Engineering (CHS) at the end of 2020, which brough new consultancy services and baggage system testing ahead of new rules for travel.
The group’s charter and freight divisions which shipped PPE and evacuated stranded people boosted the annual profit, despite private jet and safety and security branches being impacted by restrictions.
Financial services firm Canaccord Genuity said: “Its charter and safety and security divisions will likely perform well as the group emerges from the pandemic and, supported by a strong balance sheet, it will likely continue to diversify its revenue streams and aviation services portfolio in the coming years.”
The group’s share placing helped raise £7.5m to keep it above further pandemic uncertainty and reduced trading levels, as the demand for PPE and evacuations fell in the second half.
“The group has made a profitable start to FY22, but it will no longer enjoy the benefit of last year’s exceptional pandemic-related activity,” the firm added.
Flights to the US brought home the most profits, with the group seeing a rise in enquiries for private jets in the States towards the end of the year.
Restrictions and quarantine measure across the UK and Europe continue to curb profits in the continent.
Despite this, the group exited the year relatively unscathed, with no debt and £9.9m in cash.
The group’s board announced this morning a final dividend of 1.6p per share, subject to audit. This takes the total to 2.4p per share for the year.
“After putting the stock under review last year, we reinstate our forecasts, price target of 100p and BUY recommendation,” Canaccord Genuity said.