easyJet revises up FY profit forecast as revenues improve in Q3 UPDATE

LONDON (XFNews) - In a trading statement, the low-cost carrier said it now expects to report pretax profits for the year to September broadly in line with last year. At the time of its half-year results announcement in May, the company had forecast profits to come in below last year.

 easyJet achieved revenue growth of 19.5 pct in the third quarter to June, despite rising fuel costs, a strengthening dollar and Easter falling outside the period this year. Total revenues rose to 342.9 mln stg in the period from 286.9 mln last year, while unit revenue (total revenues per seat flown) rose by 1.5 pct to 38.43 stg.

The company predicted unit revenue for the current year will be slightly ahead of last year.

Unit costs rose by 6.5 pct, resulting from a 61 pct increase in the cost of fuel per seat, priced in sterling. Excluding fuel, unit costs were 2.6 pct lower compared with the third quarter last year.

easyJet said fuel costs are expected to reach 260 mln stg this year, if the spot price of jet fuel and exchange rates stay at current levels.

Chief executive Ray Webster said although the terrorist bombings in London in July affected demand for travel to the capital, he does not expect the attacks to have an impact on easyJet's full-year results, provided there are no further incidents.

Passenger numbers rose by 20.6 pct to 7.6 mln in the third quarter, with the load factor improving to 84.8 pct from 82.9.

In July, passenger traffic grew 18 pct to around 2.85 mln and the load factor was 88.4 pct compared with 88.1 a year earlier.

In the rolling 12-month period to July, easyJet carried around 28.73 mln passengers, a rise of 22.7 pct on the same period last year, while revenue rose 22.6 pct to 1.29 bln stg.

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