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Trading Update March 2020

19th March 2020

Dart Group PLC ("the Group")

Trading Update 

Dart Group PLC, the Leisure Travel and Distribution & Logistics group, today issues the following update on trading.

Year ending 31 March 2020 (FY20)

Further to last week’s Trading Update made by the Company on 11 March 2020, unprecedented and unforeseen levels of travel restrictions have been imposed by governments across Europe in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This has resulted in having to suspend its flying programme until at least 1 May 2020. Over the past week we have conducted an extensive repatriation programme to bring our valued Customers safely home, and we are proud that the Company and all of our colleagues have gone the “extra mile” to ensure that everyone has been looked after.

Given the current situation and the wide range of intangibles with which we are now faced, including concern for our hotel partners with whom we have placed deposits to secure hotel rooms for the Summer 2020 season, we now have reduced visibility on the financial implications for our Company.

In light of these rapidly changing exceptional events, plus the uncertainty around deposits recovery, the Board has today decided to withdraw its previous profit guidance issued on 11 March 2020 and will provide a further update in relation to the FY20 profit outturn once circumstances become clearer.

Year ending 31 March 2021 (FY21)

The impact and duration of Covid–19 is, at this time, impossible to determine, and the Board has no clarity as to how this will affect Group profit before foreign exchange revaluation and taxation for the financial year ending 31 March 2021.

Although we have a strong and prudent balance sheet with a £1.5bn cash balance at 18 March 2020 and long-term structured debt in relation to aircraft financing, given the escalating situation we have accelerated actions to underpin the stability of our business and improve cash flows. This includes a reduced flying programme beyond 1 May 2020, freezing recruitment and discretionary spending and deferring all non-regulatory capital expenditure. In addition, we are in ongoing discussions with existing liquidity providers who recognise the strength of our business model.

Whilst, we are encouraged by the UK Chancellor’s pledge ‘to do whatever it takes’, together with his announcement of a package of Government backed and guaranteed loans, we look forward to seeing further details of the proposed support for airlines and airports in due course.

Further announcements will be made by the Board as circumstances evolve.

For further information, please contact:

Dart Group PLC

Philip Meeson, Executive Chairman

Gary Brown, Group Chief Financial Officer

Tel: 0113 239 7817

Cenkos Securities plc

Nominated Adviser

Katy Birkin/Russel Cook

Tel: 020 7397 8900

Canaccord Genuity - Joint Broker

Adam James

Tel: 020 7523 8000

Arden Partners - Joint Broker

Paul Shackleton/Daniel Gee-Summons

Tel: 020 7614 5900

Buchanan - Financial PR

Richard Oldworth

Tel: 020 7466 5000

Certain information contained in this announcement would have been deemed inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 until the release of this announcement.

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