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MARKET REPORT: Jet2 profits hit £500m as airline recovery takes off

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

Shares of Jet2 returned to profit as the tour operator cheered a strong recovery in its package holidays.

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

The profits were made despite the low-cost airline handing out more than £50million to compensate customers for disruptions to summer travel at UK airports. Its revenue also jumped 730% to £3.56bn in the period, while passenger numbers rose 632% to 11.2m.

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

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

Unlike other airlines, the company has prepared well for the surge in bookings with more than 8,000 employees held back throughout the pandemic.

And with a steady stream of winter bookings already underway, profit for the year should exceed market expectations.

Sophie Lund-Yates, senior equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Jet2’s move from losses to profits can only be described as impressive and reflects huge increases in revenue as the industry recovers from restrictions on strict lockdown.” Jet2 rose 2.9%, or 26p, to 917.8p.

There has also been a boost for the broader airline and travel sector.

British Airways owner IAG rose 1.6%, or 2.12p, to 134.4p, while budget airlines Wizz Air added 2.5%, or 53p, to 2175p and Easyjet gained 1.9%, or 7.5p, to 394.1p.

Travel giant Tui rose 4.6%, or 6.5p, to 147.5p and On The Beach, the package holiday group, rose 7%, or 7.2p, to 110p.

The FTSE 100 rose just 1.36 points, to 7466.6 and the FTSE 250 added 0.2%, or 39.84 points, to 19,540.34.

Stock Watch – Michelmersh

Michelmersh soared after the brickmaker found a rival for £6.25m.

The AIM-listed company bought Fabspeed, which specializes in manufacturing fireplaces, arches and canopies, as trading remained strong last quarter as supply chain and energy costs came under control.

It now expects its revenue and earnings to beat market expectations.

In other good news, it has launched a share buyback program worth up to £3million. Shares jumped 12.1%, or 9.5p, to 88p.

Mining stocks also held firm despite Chinese Covid infections hitting new highs, with Anglo American up 1.2%, or 37.5p, at 3,228.5p, Antofagasta adding 0.9%, or 11.5p , to 1360.5p and Glencore up 1.1%, or 5.7p, to 536p.

Testing, certification and inspection company Intertek saw another rise after its revenue rose 5.6% to £1.08 billion from July to October.

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

But it has been operating normally in the country since July and business has quickly rebounded.

It was up 4.6%, or 176p, to 4036p.

The landlord who provides accommodation for the homeless has recovered just a day after a row erupted over his financial stability.

Home Reit said a report by US short seller Viceroy Research was “inaccurate and misleading” regarding questions about its business model and ability to collect rents.

The shares, which plunged nearly 20% on Wednesday, rose 4.5%, or 2.8p, to 65p.

There was some respite for the broader property sector, with warehouse giant Segro gaining 2.6%, or 21.2p, to close at 837.2p and Birmingham Bullring shopping center owner Hammerson adding 4 .6%, or 1.11p, to 25.42p.

At the same time, the storage unit supplier Safestore welcomed the increase in its turnover and the opening of eight sites across Europe.

Revenue rose 5.5% to £53.5m between August and October. The shares rose 1.5%, or 13.5p, to 937.5p.

Elsewhere, small-cap used-car dealership Motorpoint fell 1.3%, or 2p, to 156p after warning that its focus on investing in technology, development and marketing would cut into profits.

The group has invested £3.5 million in the business for the six months to September. This helped boost its market share to 3.7% from 2.9% a year earlier.

This generated record first-half revenue of £786.7m, but also hurt the company’s profits, which plunged 77.8% to £3m.

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