EasyJet nudges up profit guidance after strong year

Fourth quarter revenue expected to grow by about 6 per cent, airline says

Easyjet forecast a pretax profit for the 12 months to September 30th of £470-480 million. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Easyjet forecast a pretax profit for the 12 months to September 30th of £470-480 million. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

 

EasyJet nudged up its annual profit forecast today and said it expected fourth quarter revenue growth of about 6 per cent.

The airline forecast a pretax profit for the 12 months to September 30th of £470-480 million compared with previous guidance of £450-480 million.

Europe’s second-biggest discount carrier said full-year profit increased at least 48 per cent as it attracted more corporate and leisure customers on routes where network carriers are withdrawing.

EasyJet, which had year-earlier earnings of £317 million, said today in a statement. That compares with the £471 million average estimate of 20 analysts.

EasyJet is ramping up efforts to draw business passengers with allocated seating, flexible tickets and higher frequencies on key routes, and began fast-tracking flexi-fare clients in May. While cuts at network airlines helped lure 10 million corporate travelers in 2012, the Luton-based carrier may face a more hostile environment through the winter as rivals like Ryanair slash fares and others boost capacity.

“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,” chief executive Carolyn McCall said in the statement.

Under Ms McCall, EasyJet has targeted corporate connections, multiplying frequencies on services attractive to business clients while adding new routes from London to Moscow and between Milan and Rome Fiumicino airport. A potential 86 million short-haul passengers flying from Europe’s top 20 airports each year could be surrendered to EasyJet by network carriers because they don’t feed lucrative long-haul services, the executive said in July.

Revenue per seat grew about 6 per cent at a constant currency rates in the fiscal fourth quarter, driven by sales in July and August, the airline said

(Bloomberg, Reuters)

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