EasyJet strikes upbeat tone on year ahead as annual profit soars

Record demand in 2018 sees profit jump 41%

Profit at EasyJet rose 41 per cent as demand soared. Photograph:  Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Profit at EasyJet rose 41 per cent as demand soared. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

 

British low-cost airline easyJet struck an upbeat tone on 2019’s summer bookings and reiterated its half-year outlook after record demand in 2018 helped the group to post a 41 per cent jump in annual profit

EasyJet, the number two low-cost airline in Europe behind Ryanair, stuck to its prediction for first-half revenues per seat to fall by low to mid-single digits compared to the year-earlier, which had been boosted by a number of one-off factors.

Looking ahead, it also said that bookings for next summer, its most profitable period, were slightly ahead of last year, and described first-half bookings as “solid”, shrugging off concerns that Brexit risks could deter travel in its main UK market.

Well prepared

EasyJet had in September highlighted the profit rise for its 2017/18 financial year. For the 12 months ended September 30th, it posted headline pre-tax profit of £578 million (€649 million), at the top end of a forecast for profit to come in between £570 million and £580 million.

The group on Tuesday also lifted its full-year dividend by 43 per cent, and said it was well-prepared for Britain’s exit from the European Union, on an ownership and operator certificate basis.

Last year’s results were boosted by the collapse of smaller rival Monarch, and cancellations at Ryanair due to a rostering issue, and overall, easyJet’s recent buoyant performance contrasts with strike-hit Ryanair, which has warned that disruptions would hit its profit. – Reuters