Dart Group, the owner of British airline and tour operator Jet2, posted a 36 per cent increase in pre-tax profits as it enjoyed a boost from its package holiday business.
Pre-tax profits increased from £130.2m in 2018 to £177.5m for the year ending 31 March, which the company attributed to the “growing success” of its leisure travel products, including flights on the Jet2.com website and its tour operator Jet2holidays.
Dart said that in light of the results, it was recommending an increased final dividend of 7.4p per share, up from six pence per share the previous year, which will bring the total proposed dividend to 10.2p per share for the year.
Shares were up nearly five per cent at market close.
Operating losses for the second half of the year increased, as the company invested in additional aircraft and marketing, Dart said.
The Jet2 owner added that despite cost pressures and operating charges in the industry it remained “confident” that its leisure and logistics divisions would continue to perform well.
The company also said consumers were still hesitant to spend money in the second-half of the year, prompting it to cut prices to achieve growth.
“Though overall demand for our leisure travel products has continued to strengthen since the start of the new financial year, it is clear from our forward booking trends that generally, less confident consumers are booking later than last year and therefore pricing for both our flight-only and package holiday products has to be continually enticing,” it said.
“Nevertheless, with still some way to go in the booking cycle, the board remains optimistic that current market expectations for Group profit before foreign exchange revaluations and taxation for the year ending 31 March 2020 will be met.”