Easybus rides into its first profit

EasyBus, the low-cost travel business founded by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, yesterday posted its first annual profit since it was founded eight years ago.

The bus operator, established in 2003 and part of Sir Stelios’ easyGroup venture, reported post-tax profits of £1.4m in the year to September 30 2010, compared to a loss of £1.5m the previous year.

EasyBus, which offers one-way trips for £2 and employs 120 staff, said passenger numbers surged 15 per cent in the period to 1.06 million, driving an 18 per cent rise in turnover to £7.8m.

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Sir Stelios, the Greek-Cypriot billionaire best known for founding easyJet, said: “In a tough economic climate where we’re witnessing record oil prices, increasing numbers of consumers are looking for alternative, low cost and environmentally friendly ways of getting to and from airports.”

EasyBus is eyeing a potential stock market listing to fund European expansion but this is not likely to happen until 2012, after the company has secured a second vehicle manufacturer to supply its bus fleet.

EasyBus is based at Park Royal, in London, where it has a bus depot and repair facilities.

The company operates a 24-hour service between central London and Gatwick, Luton and Stansted airports.

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It is understood Sir Stelios’ European expansion would involve taking the business to countries including France, Spain and Germany.

EasyBus would piggy-back on routes flown by low-cost carrier easyJet – but would need to raise funds through an initial public offering to fund the proposal.

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