Profits on Air Partner’s freight activities have helped shore up the global aviation services group’s bottom line. Slower group charter trading, where gross profit was down 14.4%, was compensated by freight (gross profit up 22.6%) and private jets (up 10.0%).
Overall, the company reported gross profits of £17.2 million in the six months to 31 July 2019, 1% down on the same period last year. Underlying profit before tax, at £3.0m, was down 29.5% but statutory profit before tax was up 6.8% at £2.8m. Gross profit was £17.2m, 1% down on the figure for 2018.
The company said the results were in line with the same period last year and stronger than anticipated at time of AGM. The decline in underlying profit reflected investment in overheads for future growth, it added.
Gross profit in the US increased by 18.2% following further investment over the last year while for consultancy and training it increased by 7.6%.
Chief executive Mark Briffa described the result as “a solid first half performance, despite a challenging operating environment.”
He added: “It is clear from these results that our strategy to diversify by revenue stream and geography is working, with consulting and training compensating for slower trading in our Group Charter division. We are pleased with the return we are generating on our organic growth initiatives and believe there is plenty of headroom for further growth too. We continue to invest in new offices, people and processes to increase market share in all our geographies.”