Dart Group increases its 2017 final dividend by 26%

DividendMax Ltd.

Dart Group increases its 2017 final dividend by 26%

Profit before taxation reduced by 14% to £90.1m (2016: £104.2m). This result includes considerable investment to launch our two new Jet2.com operating bases at Birmingham and London Stansted Airports and also includes a £10.9m charge for foreign exchange revaluation losses (2016: £1.3m). Before accounting for these revaluation losses, underlying profit before taxation reduced by 4% to £101.0m (2016: £105.5m).  In consideration of these results, the Board is recommending a final dividend of 3.897p (2016: 3.100p), bringing the proposed total dividend to 5.272p per share for the year ended 31 March 2017 (2016: 4.000p).

* Distribution & Logistics profit before tax decreased by £0.9m to £4.5m (2016: £5.4m) on improved revenues of £163.5m (2016: £144.0m), as profit margins were impacted by very competitive market conditions, particularly in the ambient sector, and a £0.4m bad debt write-off relating to a customer who went into administration.

* From the financial year starting 1 April 2018, the Group will implement a Discretionary Colleague Profit Sharing Scheme.  The profit share will be calculated at the rate of 5% of profit before taxation, excluding foreign currency revaluations and other exceptional items, for the respective Leisure Travel or Distribution & Logistics businesses.  This scheme is intended to reward those colleagues who do not already participate in a performance related bonus or commission scheme and who have been continuously employed for at least 12 months. The first payment will be made in July 2019.

* Both our Leisure Travel and Distribution & Logistics businesses have made satisfactory starts to the new financial year. Given visibility on current forward bookings and the recent successful launch of our new operating bases at Birmingham and London Stansted Airports, the Board expects to meet current market expectations of underlying profit before taxation for the year ending 31 March 2018.

* Despite the considerable uncertainty around "Brexit" negotiations, we believe that the UK Government recognises the importance of aviation services and similarly, European countries appreciate the value that British tourists bring to their respective economies.  Therefore, for the long-term, we remain confident in the resilience of our Leisure Travel business.

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