Jet2.com and Jet2holidays parent Dart Group has posted full-year pre-tax profits up 36% to £177.5 million.
Dart said the “growing success” of its leisure travel products had driven “strong customer demand” during the year to 31 March.
However, while the group says it remains confident of meeting its 2019/20 profit forecasts, it has warned customers are booking later, forcing it to continue discounting.
It further warns the travel sector will continue to face cost pressures relating to “fuel, carbon and other operating challenges” in the coming months.
Dart Group also posted revenue up 32% from £2.38 million to £3.14 million and operating profit up 61% from £126.2 million to £203.4 million.
Group-wide operating loss also increased, which Dart said was down to investment in additional aircraft and marketing activities, as well as the increasing cost of retaining and attracting staff to operate its summer 2019 flying programme.
Jet2.com flew 12.82 million passengers in total last year, up from 10.38 million during 2017/18.
Flight-only passengers numbered 6.49 million, up 21%, while package holiday customers increased 27% from 2.5 million to 3.17 million.
“Though overall demand for our leisure travel products has continued to strengthen since the start of the new financial year, it is clear from our forward booking trends that generally, less confident consumers are booking later than last year and therefore pricing for both our flight-only and package holiday products has to be continually enticing,” said Dart Group executive chairman Philip Meeson.
“Nevertheless, with still some way to go in the booking cycle, the board remains optimistic current market expectations for group profit before foreign exchange revaluations and taxation for the year ending 31 March 2020 will be met.
“Looking further ahead, the travel industry in general is facing cost pressures in relation to fuel, carbon and other operating charges which, together with the necessary continued investment in our own products and operations, including that required to attract and retain colleagues, are headwinds that the business faces.
“However, in the long-term, we are confident of the resilience of both our leisure travel and distribution and logistics businesses.”
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