Leading aircraft charter specialist, Air Charter Service, has reported a strong first half of the year, with more than a 20% increase in both revenue and number of charters.
Chairman, Chris Leach, observes: “The overall increase in revenue for the six months ending July 31st, from £135 million to £165 million, represents a 22% increase, which is extremely pleasing. We did have an ‘exceptional event’ earlier in the year which has boosted the figures, but things such as this are common and all part of the business. Overall underlying growth has been evenly spread around the world. The only region that didn’t see growth was Russia, but this is to be expected with current troubles there.
“Our Cargo department in particular has had a booming first half of the year, buoyed by charters as a result of the US West Coast port strike. However what is more impressive was our underlying growth when we take those figures out, which was still a strong 15%.
“Our Private Jet division has enjoyed a fruitful first six months, with 14% more charters and 16% higher turnover compared to 2014. These figures would be considerably higher were it not for the slump in the Russian aviation market which has affected the private jet sector more than our other revenue streams. The growth is spread fairly evenly around our global offices, but our UK and Far East offices have been the real star performers.
“We have had some major restructuring in our Group Charter division by cutting out an unprofitable revenue stream and focussing on other markets. This has reaped rewards with revenue growth in continued activities at 9% and an increase in gross profit of 36%.
“ACS remains debt free with a strong balance sheet and bank funds of £11.7 million worldwide at the end of our half year, up from £8.8 million last year, a 33% increase. These figures do not include deposits from our Lindbergh Card customers, as we hold these in separate bank accounts on behalf of our clients which are not mixed with our own trading funds.
“Overall profits have more than doubled year on year, which I feel reflects our continuous investment in our global infrastructure. We have revamped our websites and really developed our product offerings this year, as well as opening new offices - most recently Geneva in May - with two more planned in the coming six months. We hope that these investments will pay off too.”