easyJet - UK still the focus, despite Brexit
Full year revenue per seat fell 6.9% at constant currency; although increased capacity and a record load factor, a measure of how full the planes are, meant that headline revenue fell just 0.4%. External events and currency movements resulted in a 28% drop in group profit before tax. However, at £495m, this came in at the top end of revised guidance.
easyJet (EZJ) declared a final dividend of 53.8p. This is in line with the increased pay-out ratio of 50% of profit after tax, but 2.5% below last year’s level payment. The shares were flat in early trading.
Nicholas Hyett, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown:
"As Ryanair shifts its expansion plans towards Europe easyJet has chosen to stick with the UK, expected to account for almost 50% of next year’s growth.
Thanks to lower sterling the UK will inevitably be a challenging market, sticking with it is a brave choice in what are pretty close to perfect storm conditions for airlines. Even lower fuel prices are working against the industry’s established players, encouraging capacity increases that have resulted in rapidly descending revenue per seat.
easyJet’s advantages are in evidence today though. As the largest or second largest short haul carrier in its major markets easyJet is in a strong position to negotiate with airports and ground crews, helping it to reduce costs. That scale could prove key in a sustained downturn."
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