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EasyJet sees FY profit at upper end of range after record summer

Fri 06 October 2017 07:18 | A A A

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(ShareCast News) - Budget airline easyJet said on Friday that headline pre-tax profit for the year is expected to be at the upper end of the previously guided range as it reported a record number of passengers over the summer.

Profit is expected to come in between £405m and £410m for the year to the end of September 2017 as passenger numbers for the three months to September were a record 24.1m, driving a record load factor of 95.6%.

The company had guided back in July to profit of between £380m and £420m.

The headline cost per seat excluding fuel and at constant currency is expected to grow by around 1%, in line with guidance. However, including fuel, it is expected to drop by 4.4%. In addition, the group said its unit fuel bill for the financial year to 30 September is expected to decrease by between £230m and £235m compared to the previous year.

The company also said that while revenue momentum continues to improve, it expects continued pressure on yields, reflecting ongoing market capacity growth that is currently forecast to be around 5% in the first quarter.

Chief executive Carolyn McCall said the company's profit represents "a good performance in a rapidly evolving and consolidating market".

"The market continues to be challenging and easyJet has had to absorb a significant currency impact of £100m in the year. However, easyJet continues to operate Europe's strongest network and the current turmoil in the sector provides easyJet 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. This commitment and positive attitude to our passengers has resulted in passengers flying with us in greater numbers and with greater loyalty than ever before. "

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the good news about profit and passenger numbers was offset by the confirmation that despite the demise of Alitalia, Air Berlin and Monarch, easyJet is still expecting market capacity growth to be a headwind.

At 0920 BST the shares were down 2% to 1,258p

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