Budget airliner easyJet made £7m profit in the six months to March, up from a loss of £53m last year. Additionally revenue per seat - a measure of profitability - rose 2.6 per cent on a constant currency basis.
Nonetheless it shares were trading down 8.5 per cent at 1,677p this morning after it warned on its outlook for the third-quarter.
Why it's interesting
These are a strong set of results, given that airliners see the bulk of their trade during the warm summer months. A strong ski season, low oil prices which cut fuel costs as well as favourable foreign currency exchange rates all contributed to this.
The first quarter results were particularly strong given airliners see the bulk of their trade during the summer months. easyJet said a strong ski season, low oil prices which cut fuel costs as well as favourable foreign currency exchange rates all contributed to this.
Some had been wondering whether today's results will help it in its battle against rival Ryanair. While easyJet’s numbers are going in the right direction, Ryanair is improving at a far faster rate helped by measures from chief executive Michael O’Leary’s charm such as removing extra costs.
However, hopes were dashed after chief executive Carolyn McCall said disruption from April's air traffic control strikes in France would cut profits by about £25m.
What easyJet said
Carolyn McCall, chief executive of easyJet, said:
easyJet has delivered a record performance in the first half of the year by continuing to deliver its strategy of making travel easy and affordable for passengers.
The profit in the half reflects the delivery of our customer focused revenue initiatives and a strong finish to the ski season as well as the benefit we received from the lower fuel price and favourable foreign exchange movements.
As we enter the important summer season forward bookings are in line with last year and as we predicted passengers are benefiting as fares fall to reflect a more competitive operating environment and lower fuel costs.
easyJet continues to be well positioned to grow revenue and profit this year, delivering sustainable returns to shareholders due to its compelling network, low cost base and strong balance sheet.
Budget airliner easyJet swung to profit in the first half of this financial year due to a confluence of factors - including low oil prices, better than usual winter trading as well as favourable currency movements.