Economy

EasyJet optimistic after record summer

EasyJet optimistic after record summer”

EasyJet handled an all-time record total of 7.7m passengers in September 2017 (+11%) with a load factor of 93.6% and 80.2m pax in the rolling 12 months (+9.7%) with an equally impressive load factor of 92.6%.

Passengers numbers and seats filled (load factor) hit record levels over the summer and as a result annual profits will come in near the top of its guidance of £405-410mln, the airline said.

This was "a good performance" in a "rapidly evolving" market, it said.

The airline's fourth quarter trading update also revealed a £100m hit to profits for the year from the fall in the pound since the Brexit vote - an issue that the group had previously flagged.

However, foreign exchange rate movements are now expected to have a £100m adverse impact on headline pre-tax profits compared to the financial year to 30 September 2016. Media reports suggest easyJet is interested in some of Monarch's slots at London's Gatwick airport.

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Outgoing CEO Carolyn McCall may still describe the market as challenging, but it seems things are finally starting to look up at EasyJet".

Its pre-tax profit estimate amounts to a substantial decline on the previous level of £495 million - although the carrier says its second-half profit was over £100 million higher than a year ago. However, easyJet continues to operate Europe's strongest network and the current turmoil in the sector provides us with opportunities to capitalise on its strong customer proposition and grow and strengthen our positions in Europe's leading airports still further.

"Our people have, as always, made a huge difference with a customer-focused approach wherever they work".

United Kingdom budget carrier EasyJet is predicting a full-year pre-tax profit of £405-410 million ($530-536 million), at the higher end of its previous estimates.

EasyJet has posted record passenger numbers for summer, as it cashes in on Ryanair's cancelled flights crisis.



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