The owner of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays today reported a jump in annual pre-tax profits of 49% to almost £135 million while given an upbeat view of the future despite Brexit uncertainty.
Dart Group said a year of strong passenger growth has contributed to group revenue rising by 38% to £2.4 billion in the 12 months to March 31.
Demand for the group’s package holidays grew by 24% to 2.5 million holidaymakers while Jet2.com’s fleet of 75 aircraft flew a total of 10.38 million passenger sectors, an increase of 46% year-on-year.
The fleet has been expanded to 90 aircraft for this summer.
Looking forward, the group said: “Demand for our leisure travel product has strengthened since the start of the new financial year and given current forward bookings we expect that group profit before foreign exchange revaluations and taxation for the financial year ending 31 March 2019, will substantially exceed current market expectations.”
However, the company added: “Looking further ahead, 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.”
Dart Group, which also runs a distribution and logistics arm, said its strategy remains consistent – to grow both flight-only and package holiday offerings.
“Real Package holidays take considerable organisation and attention to detail and are not easily replicated by non-specialists, the company said.
“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.”
Chairman Philip Meeson said: “In the past year we have expanded our hotel portfolio to over 3,400 hotels – summer 2017: over 2,900 hotels – often placing substantial deposits to secure dependable and competitive room offerings in the most attractive properties.
“Encompassing a wide range of great value 2 to 5-star accommodation, catering for the young, not so young and families alike, many have adjacent waterparks and other great attractions included in the package, adding to the overall holiday experience.”
He added: “Jet2holidays has now grown to be the UK’s second largest Atol licensed package holidays tour operator.
“Whilst our flight-only product remains very important, we believe our expanding package holiday business has tremendous potential.
“Consistently organising high quality, enjoyable, dependable and memorable holidays for our customers and delighting them from start to finish, engenders brand loyalty and repeat bookings.
“This, together with sustained investment in product and service, leads us to believe we have a great future in the UK leisure travel marketplace.”