British low-cost airline revenues grow 23pc
London, July 23, 2011
British low-cost airline easyJet said third-quarter revenues grew almost a quarter, helped by an uplift in the number of business travellers flying with the carrier.
The Luton, southern England-based airline yesterday said revenues for the three months to the end of June grew 23.2 per cent to GBP935 million ($1.5 billion), boosted by growing passenger and ancillary revenues, said a report in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
The budget carrier, which last year launched an initiative to lure more corporate passengers, said the number of business travellers flying with easyJet had jumped a fifth during the quarter and that the outlook was positive.
"Against the backdrop of high fuel prices and an uncertain economic environment, the strength of easyJet's trading demonstrates it is well placed to succeed," chief executive Carolyn McCall said.
"We expect at current fuel and exchange rates to deliver a pretax profit for the year ended September 30 of between GBP200 million and GBP230 million assuming normal conditions and a return on capital employed for the year of between 10 per cent and 12 per cent."
The company is expected to report an annual pretax profit of between GBP160 million and GBP268 million, with the average at GBP183.8 million, according to a poll of 23 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
EasyJet said it carried 14.4 million passengers during the quarter, 17.3 per cent more than the same period a year ago. Its load factor - a measure of how well it fills planes - edged up by 0.2 percentage points to 86.3 per cent. It added that it had already sold around three-quarters of seats for summer flights.
Earlier this month easyJet's largest shareholder, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, said he wants to force a shareholder vote over the airline's plans to buy new aircraft from Airbus, resuming a long-running dispute with the company he founded.
Shares in easyJet, which have fallen a quarter in 2011, closed at 312.70 pence on Thursday, valuing the business at around GBP1.3 billion ($2.1 billion). – TradeArabia News Service