Air Partner's Financial Year results ahead of forecasts - CILT(UK)
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Air Partner's Financial Year results ahead of forecasts

23 April 2015/Categories: CILT, Industry News, Aviation

The results for the year to January 2015 were better than forecasts, albeit estimates that were cut sharply in July last year. 

This brings to an end a tough year for Air Partner, with a weak performance in the traditionally stronger H1 period (PBT down 36% YoY) only partially compensated by a stronger H2 outturn (PBT +6% YoY). 

Compared with forecasts, Commercial Jet and Freight broking were better than expected, but Private Jet broking was worse than forecast.

The Commercial Jet performance was boosted by record results in Italy and Germany, providing some mitigation for the weaker performances seen in H1 in the UK and France. However, we believe the fall in operating profit masked significant progress is diversifying away from falling government and military customer work. 

Private Jets continued to grow the customer base of its JetCard pre-paid product, with a good level of renewals too. However, the 153% increase in new deposits was not matched by activity levels, with utilisation of card credit rising by only 3%. Revenue is only recognised when flights take place, not when cards are sold, so improving the burn rate of cards already sold remains a key opportunity. Ad-hoc private jet charter was mixed, with a key US corporate client cutting its flying activity and European markets remaining generally subdued. 

Freight broking returned to profit after last year's small loss. This improvement came despite the overall air cargo market remaining depressed. Management attributed the turnaround to previous restructuring and new personnel. However, compared with the other two divisions, Freight's contribution remains modest in absolute terms. 

The smaller fall in earnings at the EPS level than at the PBT level was due to a tax credit. This was attributable to a number of tax initiatives, including a research & development credit. We expect these to be one-off, although management continues to review the group's tax structure. 

The slight increase in net cash masked a sharp increase in cash associated with JetCard sales (to £14.1m from £8.8m) and a fall in other cash due to a working capital outflow resulting from two large contracts just before the year end (which has since reversed). 


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