Dart cuts jobs with outlook unclear
Dart Group said it would cut jobs with little clarity about how it would perform this year as the travel company reported an 11% fall in annual profit.
The owner of the Jet2.com airline and tour operator Jet2holidays did not give details about the job reductions. It said the cuts would follow a pay cut for all staff from April until the end of 2020 and the scrapping of bonuses and profit share payments.
Pretax profit from continuing operations for the year to the end of March fell to £147.7m from £166.5m a year earlier as the company took a £108.4m charge for ineffective hedges caused by Covid-19. Revenue increased 21% to £3.6bn.
The results only cover the first stages of Covid-19 lockdowns that have battered the finances of travel companies, raising fears of mass job losses. Dart raised £172m in May to strengthen its balance sheet and sold its Fowler Welch logistics business for £98m.
"More recently, we have had to reassess and reduce our flying programmes for the remainder of 2020 and for 2021, the overall effect being the need to sadly propose a number of colleague redundancies across our business," the company said.
"Group performance for the financial year ending 31 March 2021 is largely dependent on the level of flying permitted for the remainder of the summer 2020 period, as well as performance in the second half of the 2021 financial year, periods for which we currently still have limited visibility."
The company said airline load factors for the coming winter season were satisfactory and bookings for summer 2021 were encouraging. Dart shares fell 2.7% to 743p at 10:37 BST.
Excluding the charge and an £8.1m loss on foreign exchange revaluations, pretax profit from continuing operations rose 50% to £264.2m.