Air Partner plc: Half Year Results and Trading Update

posted on 29th September 2021 by Eddie Saunders

Air Partner, the global aviation services group, is pleased to report unaudited results for the six months to 31 July 2021 (H1).

The Company also announces today that it now expects performance for the full year to 31 January 2022 to be materially above market expectations.

As previously announced, Air Partner’s full year results for the year ended 31 January 2021 reported a record performance, driven by exceptional COVID-related trading in Group Charter and Freight.

The Directors expected this level of activity to decrease as the global pandemic eased. However, the Group has continued to perform strongly.

The robust performance in the period under review has differed from the last financial year due to a change in business mix.

Products and services previously depressed by COVID-19 restrictions have made a significant contribution, while Group Charter and Freight have returned to more normalised levels.

The Directors are extremely pleased with these results, as the financial performance has come from all areas of the Group’s diverse portfolio of aviation services and is therefore more sustainable.

Importantly, all products (Group Charter, Private Jets, Freight and Safety & Security) have contributed at least 20% to gross profit.

In August 2021, the Directors undertook the strategically important acquisition of Kenyon International Emergency Services Inc (“Kenyon”), a leading emergency planning and incident response company. This follows the successful acquisition of Redline Worldwide Limited (“Redline”) in late 2019.

The Group has budgeted a minimal contribution from Kenyon in H2 2021. However, it is expected to be earnings enhancing in 2022 and we anticipate that it will contribute meaningfully to Air Partner’s long-term financial performance.

The Directors expect to use the Group’s strong cash generation to continue exploring organic investment opportunities and acquisitions in line with its strategy to drive growth by diversifying and extending its customer offering.

Financial highlights*:

  • Gross profit of £18.6m, reflecting a strong recovery in Private Jets and a robust performance in Group Charter and Freight as they return to more normalised trading levels (H1 2020: £27.7m / H1 2019: £17.2m)
  • Overall, 48.2% of gross profit came from outside of the UK; the US contributed 31.6%
  • Underlying profit before tax of £3.8m, materially up by 26.7% on pre-pandemic trading (H1 2020: £10.5m / H1 2019: £3.0m) 
  • Statutory profit before tax of £3.5m includes amortisation of acquired intangibles, acquisition costs and release of deferred consideration (H1 2020: £8.9m / H1 2019: £2.8m) 
  • Net cash of £9.8m and liquidity headroom of £24.3m as of period end (comprising of net cash, a £13.0m undrawn RCF and £1.5m overdraft)
  • JetCard cash deposits up 12.5% to £19.8m due to high demand in Private Jets (H1 2020: £17.6m / H1 2019: £18.5m) 
  • Basic EPS of 4.2p; underlying§ EPS of 4.6p, down 64.1% on the prior year, but up 7.0% on H1 2019 (4.3p)
  • Declared interim dividend of 0.85p a share (H1 2020: 0.80p), an increase of 6.3%

Mark Briffa, CEO of Air Partner, commented: “I am extremely proud of the progress we have made in the first half of this year, following on from record results last year.

“Our vision to build a portfolio of diverse aviation services that smooths earnings and builds out our customer offering is clearly progressing, with all four products – Group Charter, Private Jets, Freight and Safety & Security – making a significant contribution to these results.

“Looking ahead, strong current trading across all areas of our Charter division, and an improving outlook for Safety & Security, gives us confidence in our prospects for H2 and accordingly we have upgraded our financial performance expectations for the full year.”