21 November 2019 – interim results

In the six months to 30 September the company saw revenues increase by 16% to £2.6bn (2018: £2.2bn) although adjusted profit before tax rose by 3% to £350m (2018: 340m).  Earnings per share were 2% higher at 187p (2018: 183p) and the interim dividend was increased by 7% to 3.0p (2018: 2.8p).  The modest increase in profitability reflects a later booking pattern in the leisure travel business with customer demand strengthening throughout the summer season.  Net cash at the end of the period was £455m up from £302m a year earlier.  Although the second half will see a seasonal loss as usual the full year results are expected to be ahead of expectations.  Despite the increase in the share price we believe the shares are a HOLD.