EasyJet guides to annual profit growth

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Budget low-cost airline easyJet guided to annual profit growth of between 7 per cent and 14 per cent, putting it on track at the mid-point to meet analyst forecasts for a 10 per cent rise.

Easyjet’s guidance, its first on its full-year outcome, comes after Europe’s second-biggest budget carrier had in May flagged headwinds from competitive pricing pressure and the cost of an air traffic control strike in France.

The airline said that its revenue per seat performance in its fiscal third quarter was better than it had forecast in May, helped by higher demand for beach routes across Europe.

EasyJet said that it expected full-year pretax profit for the 12 months to the end of September in the range of £620m and £660m, compared with a company-supplied consensus forecast of £638m from a poll of 24 analysts.

Carolyn McCall, easyJet chief executive said: “Our Q3 performance shows that easyJet’s strategy continues to deliver, in particular with good performance in the UK and beach routes across Europe.

“With 77 per cent of second half seats now booked, easyJet expects to grow profit before tax from £581m for the year to 30 September 2014 to a range of £620m to £660m for the year to 30 September 2015. Our Q3 performance means that for the full year easyJet will grow revenue, profits and dividends.”