Jet2 shares climb as travel group predicts annual profit beat

By Scott Kanowsky -- Leisure airline Jet2 PLC (LON:JET2) says it now expects annual pre-tax profit to top estimates after a surge in half-year earnings that was fueled by solid customer demand.

Profit before foreign exchange revaluation and taxation for the six months to September 30, more than tripled compared to the same timeframe last year, to £505.0 million (£1 = $1.2079), buoyed by strong sales of its package holidays following the reopening of much of the international travel network from COVID-19 restrictions in early 2022. The figure is 44% of pre-COVID levels as well.

Meanwhile, "robust" pricing and cost controls helped offset a £50M expense stemming from widespread disruptions at airports over the summer, Jet2 said.

The group, known for offering low-cost scheduled and charter flights to U.K. vacationers, added that winter demand is "encouraging" ahead of its key post-Christmas booking period.

Because of that, Jet2 predicted that full-year profit before foreign exchange revaluation and taxation for the year ending on March 31 will beat current average market expectations.

But the firm warned that it still faces headwinds from broader economic trends, including rising input cost pressures for fuel, a strengthened U.S. dollar, and wage increases.

"This leads us to conclude that margins may come under some pressure, but encouragingly the strength of our recovery post Covid underlines our belief that customers truly cherish their weeks away in the sun and want to be properly looked after throughout their holiday experience," said executive chairman Philip Meeson in a statement.

London-listed shares in Jet2 rose in early trading on Thursday.

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