Air Partner, the global aviation services group, is today providing an update on trading to 30 June 2020. This is the fifth update released during the COVID-19 pandemic and we anticipate communicating our next update to shareholders at the Group’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 15 July 2020.
Current trading overview
The business continued to perform significantly ahead of budget in June and the unaudited management accounts show an expected underlying profit before tax of at least £10.0m for the first five months of the year to 30 June 2020. As has been the case throughout the COVID-19 crisis, this performance has been driven by strong activity in our Freight and Group Charter divisions. Early indications for July are showing an adjustment in our business mix to pre COVID-19 levels, with a recovery in both Private Jets and Safety & Security.
Group Charter had a strong month in June, carrying out repatriation work and corporate shuttles, with the latter particularly strong in Europe and the US as companies continue to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of their employees. The division also benefitted from a significant corporate project, however, this was a one off and will not repeat. Given the impact of COVID-19, we had seen a significant decrease in Sports activity as numerous large sporting events scheduled for 2020, such as the Euros and Olympic Games, were postponed or cancelled. However, we are now seeing a pick-up in demand from this sector across Europe as sporting events have started to resume.
Private Jets has shown positive signs of recovery, especially in the US, and JetCard has delivered strong sales for the month of June. The recovery in Private Jets in Europe has been slightly slower, hampered by the UK’s 14-day quarantine policy for anyone arriving in the country.
Our Freight division continues to see high demand for the transportation of emergency protective personal equipment (PPE) from Asia to the UK, Europe and US. We expect our core Freight activity, exclusive of PPE flying, to return to pre COVID-19 levels in the second half of the year.
Safety & Security
As announced in June, our Safety & Security division has secured a long-term contract with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and is now also providing consultancy services to private aviation company Jet Edge. On the Security side, covert testing is showing early signs of recovery, while the Safety team delivered over 50 virtual courses during June, as clients adapt to new operating requirements and standards.
Cost management and cash conservation
We have enjoyed a strong first five months of the financial year and we remain confident in our ability to successfully navigate the current economic climate and the uncertainty bought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, visibility for the second half of the year remains limited, but we will provide a further update at the time of the AGM.
On 12 June 2020, we announced the successful completion of the Placing of new Ordinary Shares in the capital of the Company, raising gross proceeds of approximately £7.5m. This has enabled us to enter the second half of the year with significantly reduced debt and good working capital to invest in new opportunities arising from COVID-19 that will help drive organic growth.
At the end of June, the Group has normalised cash in the bank of £16.0m, excluding significant customer deposits and JetCard cash. The Group also has access to a total debt facility of £14.5m, comprising a £13.0m revolving credit facility (RCF) and a £1.5m overdraft. As at 30 June 2020, the Group had drawn down £3.0m of its RCF. The RCF is due to expire in February 2023.
A video update with CEO Mark Briffa can be found here: https://plcwebcast.uk/airjuly2020
|TB Cardew (Financial PR advisor to Air Partner)||020 7930 0777|
|Tom Allison||07789 998 020|
|Alycia MacAskill||07876 222 703|
|Joe McGregor||07766 231 520|
About Air Partner:
Founded in 1961, Air Partner is a global aviation services group providing aircraft charter and aviation safety & security solutions to industry, commerce, governments and private individuals, across civil and military organisations. The Group has two divisions: Air Partner Charter, comprising Group Charter, Private Jets, Freight and Specialist Services; and Air Partner Safety & Security (formerly Consulting & Training), which comprises Baines Simmons, Redline Assured Security and Managed Services.
Group Charter charters large airliners to move groups of any size. Private Jets offers the Company’s unique pre-paid JetCard scheme and on-demand charter for up to 19 people. Freight charters aircraft of every size to fly almost any cargo anywhere, at any time. Specialist Services comprises Air Partner’s other aviation services that complement its Charter business: Remarketing, ACMI, scheduled group travel, tour operations, air evacuation and flight operations.
Baines Simmons offers aviation safety management and fatigue risk management. Redline Assured Security delivers government-standard security training, consultancy and solutions to regulated, high value and high threat environments. Managed Services offers wildlife hazard management and aircraft registry services.
Air Partner has 16 locations across three continents, with its headquarters located alongside Gatwick airport in the UK. The group employs around 450 aviation professionals globally and operates 24/7. Air Partner is listed on the London Stock Exchange (AIR) and is the only publicly listed air charter broker and aviation safety & security consultancy. It is ISO 9001:2015 compliant for commercial airline and private jet solutions worldwide.
More information is available on the company’s website (www.airpartner.com).