FTSE AIM 50 (A50)

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Thomas Cook collapse boosts Dart Group demand

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Friday 11 Oct 2019

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - Shares of Dart Group surged on Friday as the Jet2 owner said full-year profit is set to top current market expectations following the collapse of rival Thomas Cook.
The company said it had seen increased levels of customer demand since Thomas Cook went bust, with overall demand for both its flight-only offering and package holiday products continuing to strengthen.

As a result, it now expects profit before tax and foreign exchange valuations for the year to the end of March 2020 to be ahead of current market expectations.

"Looking further ahead, our comments from the annual general Meeting remain - given the cost pressures the travel industry is facing in general, which will intensify given the weakness in sterling, plus the deepening Brexit uncertainty and the impact this may have on consumer confidence, we remain very cautious in our outlook," it said.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, noted that Dart was always a likely to be a beneficiary of Thomas Cook's demise as it offers both flight-only and package holidays and is "a natural home" for customers looking for something similar to Thomas Cook's proposition.

"In particular, Jet2 was well placed to strengthen its market leading positions on the Iberian Peninsula given that the region represented a third of Thomas Cook's capacity," he said.

"With Dart's profit guidance for the current year to March upgraded, the question for investors is whether the business will just enjoy a short-term lift or enjoy something more lasting."

At 1110 BST, the shares were up 15.5% at 1,080p.

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