Easyjet today raised its annual profit forecast on the back of a strong performance during the summer.
Pre-tax profit for the year to September 30 is expected to be between £470 million and £480 million against previous guidance of £450 million to £480 million.
September carryings rose by 4.8% to 5.7 million passengers at an improved load factor of 89.7%. The number of passengers flown in the 12 months to September 30 was up by 4% to 60.7 million.
Revenue per seat at constant currency for the three months to September is expected to grow by around 6% driven by strong demand in July and August, the budget carrier said in a trading update this morning.
“Despite the political unrest in Egypt and the £25 million adverse impact in the second half of the year from the movement of Easter which fell a week earlier than in 2012, revenue per seat at constant currency for the six months to September is expected to grow by around 6%,” easyJet said.
However, easyJet’s unit fuel bill for the first half of the 2014 financial year is likely to increase by £20 million to £30 million compared to the six months to March 31, 2013. Exchange rate movements are also likely to have around a £10 million negative impact, driven by changes in the sterling to US dollar rate on fuel.
More than a quarter of seats in the first half of next year have now been sold, in line with the same period in 2012-13.
Chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “EasyJet has delivered a strong performance in the last 12 months due to management action to generate value to our customers and maintain a tight control of costs combined with an unusually benign capacity environment.
“EasyJet’s great network, friendly customer service, cost advantage and strong balance sheet means it will continue to be a structural winner in European short-haul aviation and to deliver sustainable returns and growth for shareholders.”
Full-year results are to be released on November 19.
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