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easyJet strikes upbeat tone on year ahead as annual profit soars

November 20, 2018 at 9:55am
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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 percent jump in annual profit

easyJet, the no.2 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.

easyJet had in September highlighted the profit rise for its 2017/18 financial year. For the 12 months ended Sept. 30, it posted headline pre-tax profit of 578 million pounds ($742.67 million), at the top end of a forecast for profit to come in between 570 million pounds and 580 million pounds.

The group on Tuesday also lifted its full-year dividend by 43 percent, 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)