("fastjet" or the “Company”)
28 June 2016
At fastjet Plc’s Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) being held today the Chairman, Colin Child, will make the following statement in respect of current trading and the first half of the 2016 financial year.
The trading environment in which the Company operates remains challenging. Although the yield per passenger continues to improve from its low point in October 2015 passenger numbers remain lower than expected. Whilst domestic routes within Tanzania are showing signs of recovery international services remain difficult.
Passenger numbers of 390,000 are forecast for the first half ending 30 June 2016 (2015: 363,726) but load factors have declined to 47% (2015: 70%) reflecting the increase in available capacity in the past 12 months.
As announced on 9 June 2016 Nico Bezuidenhout will be joining the Group on 1 August 2016. Although he has yet to join the Company, the Board and Nico have already identified a number of opportunities to stabilise the business and address many of the challenges we face. These include a fundamental review of our fleet, both the size and type of aircraft operated, the routes flown, the relocation of our Head Office to Africa and revenue generation initiatives.
Although the ongoing cost reduction programme and the recent reduction in routes and fleet size are yielding material benefits the Group continues to be cash flow negative. Accordingly, the Company needs to raise further finance to provide essential working capital and also to effect the necessary changes to its operations, reduce costs further and pursue revenue generating initiatives to grow the business. The Group has therefore commenced the initial phases of a fund raising exercise which it plans to complete during July 2016.
The Board believes that with a new CEO, who has a proven track record of successfully operating a low cost carrier in Africa, combined with a more pragmatic approach to operating the business, a much reduced cost base and management positioned in proximity to our markets and customers the Group has a viable and attractive future.
For more information, contact:
Colin Child, Executive Chairman Tel: +44 (0) 20 3651 6307
Lisa Mitchell, Chief Financial Officer
UK media – Citigate Dewe Rogerson Tel: +44 (0) 20 7638 9571
South African media – Tribeca Public Relations Tel: +27 (0) 11 208 5500
Cian Mac Eochaidh
For investor enquiries please contact:
Liberum Capital Limited – Nominated Adviser and Joint Tel: +44 (0) 20 3100 2222
W.H. Ireland Ltd. – Joint Broker Tel: +44 (0) 20 7220 1666
NOTES TO EDITORS
About fastjet Plc
fastjet Plc is the holding company of the low cost airline fastjet which commenced flights under the fastjet brand in Tanzania in November 2012. By adhering to international standards of safety, quality, security and reliability; fastjet has brought a new flying experience to the African market at unprecedented low prices. Utilising its fleet of Airbus A319s, fastjet is implementing the low-cost model across Africa with a long-term strategy to become the continent's first low-cost, pan-Africa airline.
The results of the first quarter 2016 customer satisfaction surveys showed that an average of 73% of customers were likely to recommend fastjet to a friend. In developing its strong brand and identity, fastjet has won and been nominated for a number of awards, including Africa's Leading Low-Cost Airline 2016 at the 23rd World Travel Awards, winning three Transform awards for the rebrand and launch of fastjet, the award for "Brand Strategy of the Year" at 2014’s Drum Marketing Awards in London, and the Transport Innovator Award at the 8th Transport Africa Awards 2015 in Johannesburg.
fastjet Plc is quoted on the London Stock Exchange's AIM Market.
For more information see www.fastjet.com
Posted on 28th June 2016