EasyJet figures fail to move investors

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A RISE in easyJet’s quarterly revenues to £897m failed to inspire the City yesterday as the budget airline posted its first trading update since notching up an annual profits increase of 51 per cent.

Shares slipped despite the 7.7 per cent increase in turnover for the three months to the end of December, as one analyst said the figures “did not quite match the great expectations to which investors have become accustomed”.

The number of passengers carried increased by 4.2 per cent to 14.3 million, with business passengers up by 8.9 per cent. Revenue per seat was up by 3.4 per cent as expected to £55.71 – despite tough comparisons with a post-Olympics getaway surge in 2012.

But bookings for the first half are expected to be flat on the year before and pre-tax losses for the six-month period are forecast to rise to between £70m and £90m because of the timing of Easter.

The group said tough competition together with restrictions on travel to Egypt had also taken their toll on performance. There were also higher costs from airport charges and maintenance.