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easyJet says it expects FY profit growth of up to 50 pct

08/09/2007| 10:21:00 AM| 中文

Low-fares airline easyJet PLC said it is maintaining its guidance that pretax profit growth for the year to September 2007 will be in the range of 40-50 pct.

Low-fares airline easyJet PLC said it is maintaining its guidance that pretax profit growth for the year to September 2007 will be in the range of 40-50 pct.

Europe´s second-largest no-frills carrier, added that it expects to maintain high load factors for the summer, while second half guidance on revenue per seat remains unchanged -- down 5-10 pct.

For the three months to end-June 2007, easyJet´s third quarter, the airline carried 9.9 mln passengers -- a 13 pct increase on the same period last year.

The load factor, a measure of how full flights are, was 84.5 pct, down 1.5 percentage points.

Total revenue was 486.5 mln stg, up 5.7 pct. In July, easyJet carried 3.72 mln passengers, up 17.5 pct on last year. Load factor was 88.6 pct.

The airline said the impact of reduced lead in fares, increased promotional activity and the doubling of Air Passenger Duty in the UK has resulted in a fall in total revenue per seat of 8 pct compared to the same quarter last year.

Some 46 pct of easyJet´s revenues are now in currencies other than stg and at constant exchange rates, unit revenues were down 7 pct per seat or 5 pct per passenger, said the Luton-based carrier.

The company, which launched easyJetHolidays during the period, said continued investment in its fleet and on-going improvements in efficiency resulted in unit costs, excluding fuel, falling by around 10 pct compared to the same period last year.

Earlier this month easyJet said that from October 2007 it will implement a new baggage policy which will see passengers charged 2 stg for every bag put in the plane´s hold.

The carrier said it will still allow carry-on bags up to 55 by 40 by 20 cm, with no limit on weight.

The airline also launched the easyJet Carbon Offsetting (ECO) scheme, which offers its customers the opportunity to offset the carbon emissions of their flights by investing in United Nations (UN)-certified carbon offsetting projects.

The company said it will use all funds contributed by its passengers to buy carbon credits from the Perlabi Hydroelectric Project in Ecuador, which has been certified by the UN´s Framework Convention on Climate Change.

During the quarter easyJet added six routes to its Milan base as well as adding Austria, Belgium and Romania to its wider network. easyJet expects this progress to continue until the end of the financial year and beyond.

"A strong increase in passenger numbers to almost 10 mln and continued high load factors in the third quarter reflect the strength of easyJet´s business model," Andy Harrison, the airline´s chief executive said in a statement.

Shares of low-cost carriers such as easyJet and Ryanair Holdings PLC fell by around 30 pct since June, months after weakening demand and lower ticket prices. However, Panmure Gordan analyst Gert Zonneveld believes the future looks bright for easyJet.

"Going forward we believe that the fundamentals of easyJet remain sound. Pretax profits are expected to rise by 40-50 pct this year and there is in our view plenty of long-term growth potential -- not only in the UK but particularly in the continental European markets where low fare market share is still relatively low," Zonneveld wrote in a research note on the airline this morning.
TAGS: easyJet | third quarter
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