City Cruises

Published on Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Flybe announces it's up for sale weeks after issuing profit warning


Regional airline Flybe announced this morning that it is seeking a buyer, just weeks after issuing a profit warning.

The Exeter-based carrier said it was in talks with a number of 'strategic operators' about a potential sale.

In October, the airline warned it would lose £22 million this year due to falling passenger demand, a weaker pound and higher fuel costs.

Pre-tax profits for the six months to the end of September announced today were down 54% year on year to £7.4 million and revenues were down 2.4% to £409.2 million.

Flybe said today that it was reviewing 'various strategic options' to address 'current challenges' in the airline industry. The Board has appointed Evercore as its financial adviser to assist with the review.

The 40-year-old airline, which has a fleet of 78 aircraft, was valued at £215 million when it floated on the Stock Exchange in 2010, but its value has since fallen to about £25 million.

In a statement, Flybe said alternatives to a sale included further capacity cuts, more cost-saving measures and 'initiatives to strengthen the balance sheet and preserve cash resources'.~

Earlier this year, the airline rejected an offer from Southend Airport's parent company Stobart, but news outlets have speculated that the Group could re-emerge as a potential buyer.

Flybe is Europe's largest regional airline and flies more UK domestic flights than any other airline - 53% of all UK flights within mainland Britain outside London.

It currently operates 192 routes serving 14 countries from 75 departure points in the UK and Europe and is the largest scheduled airline by air traffic movements at 12 UK regional airports, including Manchester and Southampton.

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