EasyJet profit falls as weaker pound bites

UK budget airline predicts rise in seat prices this winter following collapse of rivals

EasyJet’s pretax profit for the year ended September 30th fell 17 per cent to £408 million. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

EasyJet’s pretax profit for the year ended September 30th fell 17 per cent to £408 million. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

 

EasyJet predicted a gain in prices this winter after earlier forecasting a decline as the collapse of rivals including UK-based Monarch Airlines removes excess capacity in some of its biggest markets.

Revenue per seat should increase by a low to mid-single digit percentage in the fiscal first half through March at constant currencies, excluding the impact of taking over some routes from Air Berlin, the Luton, England-based carrier said in a statement Tuesday.

EasyJet’s pretax profit for the year ended September 30th fell 17 per cent to £408 million (€461 million), in line with guidance given in October, hurt by the weaker pound and a glut of seating in European markets. Carolyn McCall, who stands down as chief executive before the end of the year, said the company has “positive momentum” going into 2018.

“A continuous focus on sustainable cost control has put EasyJet at a strategic advantage during a period when there have been bankruptcies and some airlines have struggled operationally,” she said.

EasyJet said it’s too early to provide guidance for the second half, while saying that taking over Air Berlin plane leases and slots at the German capital’s Tegel airport will incur losses of about £60 million in fiscal 2018, plus £100 million in one-off expenses.

Ms McCall joined EasyJet as chief executive in July 2010 from Guardian Media Group, and is returning to her roots to head up UK broadcaster ITV.

– Bloomberg

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