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June 2017
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Tina Leach shares ACS funds between the Dysart School for children with learning disabilities; Momentum that supports families of children with life-limiting conditions; Macmillan Cancer Support and Save the Children

ACS reports strong 2016 financial results

UK-headquartered Air Charter Service saw revenue reach $441.2m in the year ending 31 January, 2017, an eight per cent increase over the previous year.

CEO Justin Bowman says: “We arranged almost 12,500 contracts last year. Pleasingly, the strong growth was evenly spread across our 20 offices worldwide. There was even an upturn in the fortunes of our Russian offices following recent economic troubles in the region.”

The private jet division was particularly strong, growing year- on-year charter volumes by more than 10 per cent. The UK, US and Indian offices were star performers, while the Sydney office reported a great start after opening in February of last year.

“Our group charter division, which caters for aircraft carrying more than 20 passengers, saw a marked improvement in charter numbers and impressive growth of 27 per cent in terms of revenue,” Bowman adds. “Gross profit from all aircraft charters totalled $53m, a company record, showing underlying growth of 10 per cent.

“All of this means that ACS remains in a strong cash position with bank funds of $14.2m world- wide at the end of the year. These figures do not include deposits from our jet card customers as we hold these in separate bank accounts on behalf of our clients – they are not mixed with our own trading funds.

“Our underlying pre-tax earnings grew 16 per cent to $9.4m, which I feel reflects our continuous investment in our global infra-structure. We are extremely con- fident that for this current year, and beyond, our growth will continue. Despite various worldwide political instabilities and challenges things are currently looking good.”

Charity fundraising

Last year ACS employees raised a record $74,306 for their chosen charities across a variety of activities arranged by the company's charity committee. Employees raised funds by taking part in a ten-pin bowling competition, a summer garden party, the Dragon Boat Race along the Thames, a charity quiz night and the company's Christmas party.

Group company secretary and head of the charity committee Tina Leach comments: “We are delighted to be able to donate such a large amount this year. Along with various personal efforts for other individually chosen charities, we currently support four main charities that were voted for by our employees. Any money raised by our employees is matched by ACS.”

She adds: “We also support an ongoing, long-term project and over the past six years ACS's donations have paid for a new IT classroom and library for the HEAL orphanage and school in Andhra Pradesh, India.”

In October of last year ACS chairman Chris Leach also committed to donating annually to War Child to help children that suffer as a consequence of conflict.

A drop in Easter eggs

The Miami office received an interesting phone call just before Easter asking for a helicopter to drop around 20,000 plastic Easter eggs over a field for an eager crowd of people armed with baskets. The call came from Vous Church in Miami and was the highlight of its Easter Saturday celebrations. The church is run by its 'hipster pastor', Rich Wilkerson Jr, who officiated at the wedding of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in Florence, Italy, three years ago and has his own reality TV show, 'Rich In Faith'. Around 2,500 people gathered to collect the eggs, among them a few local celebrities such as Miss Miami.

Joel Fenn, managing director of ACS's Miami office, says: “At first we were a little dubious as to whether the FAA would allow us to drop objects out of the back of an aircraft but, after carefully studying its Code of Federal Regulations, we found that it was fine so long as it posed no threat to public safety. We set about finding a suitable helicopter and sourced a local operator with a Bell 206 JetRanger. Some of our team attended the event to make sure everything went smoothly and that a great day was had by all.”


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