MARKET REPORT: Jet2 profits soar to £500m as Britons snap up package holidays – fuelling a post-pandemic recovery

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Jet2 shares returned to gains as the tour operator celebrated a strong recovery in its package holidays.

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Jet2, formerly known as Dart Group, made a profit of £505 million in the six months to September, compared with a loss of £195.1 million a year earlier.

The profits came despite the low-cost airline committing more than £50 million to compensate customers for summer travel disruption at UK airports. Its revenue also rose by 730 per cent to £3.56bn in the period, while passenger numbers rose by 632 per cent to 11.2m.


Takeoff: Jet2, formerly known as Dart Group, made a profit of £505m in the six months to September, compared with a loss of £195.1m a year earlier

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Unlike other airlines, the business is well prepared for a surge in bookings with more than 8,000 employees being retained throughout the pandemic.

And with a steady stream of winter bookings already in the pipeline, profit for the year is set to beat market expectations.

Sophie Lund-Yates, principal equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdowne, said: ‘Jet2’s turn from loss to profit can only be described as impressive, and reflects huge growth in revenue as the industry recovers from tough lockdown restrictions.’ Jet2 rose 2.9 per cent, or 26p, to 917.8p.

There was also a boost for the wider airline and travel sector.

British Airways owner IAG was up 1.6 per cent, or 2.12p, to 134.4p, while budget airlines Wizz Air added 2.5 per cent, or 53p, to 2175p and Easyjet added 1.9 per cent, or 7.5p, to 394.1p.

Travel giant Tui rose 4.6 per cent or 6.5p to 147.5p and On the Beach Package Holiday Group rose 7 per cent or 7.2p to 110p.

The FTSE 100 was up just 1.36 points at 7466.6 and the FTSE 250 was up 0.2 percent, or 39.84 points, at 19,540.34.

Stock Watch – Michaelmarsh

Michaelmarsh rises after the bricklayer toppled a rival for £6.25million.

The AIM-listed firm bought Fabspeed, which specializes in making chimneys, arches and canopies, as business remained strong in the last quarter with supply chain and energy costs staying under control.

It now expects revenue and profit to exceed market expectations.

In more good news, it launched a share buyback program of up to £3 million. Shares rose 12.1 per cent, or 9.5p, to 88p.

Mining shares also held strong despite China’s Covid infections hitting fresh highs, with Anglo American rising 1.2 per cent, or 37.5p, 3228.5p, Antofagasta up 0.9 per cent, or 11.5p, 1360.5p and Glencore 1.1 per cent. or 5.7p, to 536p.

Testing, certification and inspection company Intertek posted another growth spurt after its revenue rose 5.6 percent to £1.08 billion from July to October.

It said lockdown restrictions in China between March and June had a significant impact on its business.

But it has been working normally in the country since July and business has recovered rapidly.

It rose 4.6 per cent, or 176p, to 4036p.

The landlord, who provides housing for the homeless, recovered just a day after a dispute over his financial stability.

Home Reet said a report published by US short-seller Viceroy Research was ‘incorrect and misleading’, questioning its business model and ability to collect rent.

Shares, which fell nearly 20 per cent on Wednesday, rose 4.5 per cent, or 2.8p, to 65p.

There was some relief for the wider property sector, with warehouse giant Segro closing up 2.6 per cent, or 21.2p, at 837.2p and Birmingham Bullring shopping center owner Hammerson’s, adding 4.6 per cent, or 1.11p, to 25.42p.

At the same time, storage unit provider Safestore celebrated an increase in revenue and the opening of eight sites across Europe.

Revenue rose 5.5 percent to £53.5 million between August and October. Shares rose 1.5 per cent, or 13.5p, to 937.5p.

Elsewhere, small cap used car dealer Motorpoint fell 1.3 per cent, or 2p, to 156p after warning that a focus on investment in technology, development and marketing would hurt profits.

The group pumped £3.5 million into the business in the six months to September. This increased its market share to 3.7 per cent from 2.9 per cent a year ago.

It generated record first half revenue of £786.7 million, but also took a hit on the company’s profits, which fell 77.8 percent to £3 million.

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