December 9 - At air charter broker, Air Partner, the board remains cautious in its assessment of prospects for the current year.

The company says that this can be attributed to the continued economic uncertainty and the lack of visibility characterising the industry.

But the company says planned investment is continuing, bringing into the team experienced professionals with a strong sales focus and industry-wide connections and the board remains confident in the long term growth prospects for Air Partner's key markets.

Chief executive Mark Briffa said revenues from the largest division, commercial jet broking, are currently lower than last year, but in line with the board's expectations.

Sales within the freight broking and private jet broking divisions have been encouraging although it is still too early for this to provide any reliable indication of future financial performance.

He also said the group was making progress in its strategic aim of increasing the contribution from operations outside the UK.

Mark Briffa, CEO said: "When Air Partner published its annual results, in October, the Board noted that the aviation sector was likely to be affected by continuing instability in the primary world markets. This has proved to be the case, with a number of airline operators and travel companies reporting financial difficulties. Against this backdrop of a very difficult trading environment, Air Partner remains stable and continues to trade profitably.

"Our US business continues to show early signs of improvement, as investments made over the last 12 months start to have a positive impact. New general sales agency arrangements and a further strengthening of the sales team have seen Air Partner's sales presence extended to cover Hungary, Poland and Slovenia, Ukraine, Greece, Cyprus and Switzerland. Discussions are also progressing on the establishment of Air Partner's services in Asia.