Profits higher than expected at Jet2 owner Dart Group but firm warns over Brexit clouds on horizon

Jet2 is based in Leeds.
Jet2 is based in Leeds.
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The owner of Leeds-based airline Jet2 has said its profits for last year will be higher than expected, but warned of Brexit clouds during the current year.

Dart Group said its growing leisure travel business had helped bolster results for the year to March 31 2019.

As a result, group profit before foreign exchange revaluation and tax is set to be slightly ahead of market expectations.

But the year ending March 31 2020 could be affected by economic uncertainty in the UK, particularly around Brexit.

Dart said bookings for this year’s all-important summer period had so far reflected some consumer uncertainty.

Pricing for both the group’s flight-only bookings and its package holiday products is more competitive, in a bid to secure holidaymakers.

The extension of the Brexit deadline to the end of October was viewed as positive for travel operators by the market, due to the greater certainty for travellers making trips during the summer.

Shares in the likes of easyJet and Tui rose following the announcement.

Dart said there was still time in the leisure travel booking cycle, meaning the board remains optimistic of meeting current market expectations for profit in the year to March 2020.

Earlier this year, Jet2 boss Steve Heapy warned of higher prices for holidaymakers in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

“The worst thing that could happen is that we’re not able to fly to Europe,” he said. “I think the chance of that happening is extremely low.

“I think we’ll end up with something in the middle whereby we’re able to fly into Europe, but I think it might be more expensive and there might be more restrictions.”

Mr Heapy said the business would consider adding more flights to locations such as Turkey if it was not allowed into Europe.