Dart Group's shares take off as profits soar

SHARES in the group behind airline Jet2.com have taken off after the popularity of flights and holiday packages helped its profits soar.

Philip Meeson    Picture By Simon Hulme
Philip Meeson Picture By Simon Hulme

Dart Group, which operates a range of leisure and logistics businesses, said its profit before tax had risen by 49 per cent to £134.6 million in the year ended March 31.

Revenues jumped 38 per cent to £2.39 billion. The firm, which has recently partnered with hit TV show Love Island to offer holiday prizes, also said demand had strengthened since the start of the new financial year, and that future profit would “substantially exceed market expectations”.

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The board has proposed a total dividend of 7.5p per share for the year, up 42% from 5.272p the year before. Following the upbeat results, Dart Group’s shares shot up 36 per cent to 1,007p.

In the statement to accompany results, Dart Group said that emerging cost pressures coupled with the overall uncertain UK economic outlook, “particularly related to Brexit and how it may impact on consumer spending, means we remain unclear how demand will develop in the medium term”.

The group’s strategy for the future will be to grow both its package holiday and its flight sales.

In a statement, the company said: “Real package holidays take considerable organisation and attention to detail and are not easily replicated by non-specialists.

“The group dedicates significant resources to deliver an innovative and industry-leading product and together with our scale, experience, competitiveness and customer-focused approach, we believe we have a strong and resilient leisure travel business.” During the year, Jet2.com flew a total of 10.38m flight-only and package holiday passengers, an increase of 46 per cent.

The company’s distribution business, Fowler Welch, is one of the UK’s biggest providers of food supply-chain services, serving retailers, processors, growers and importers.

Dart Group is led by businessman Philip Meeson.