EasyJet sets a course to break its profit record

 
Marion Dakers

EASYJET is expected to smash through its profit record for the third year in a row tomorrow after its push into business travel and the introduction of new routes boosted turnover per passenger.

The low-cost airline said last month that it expected to report annual profits of between £470m and £480m, up from £317m the previous year, as revenues per seat rose six per cent.

The firm, which joined the FTSE 100 in March, introduced allocated seating on all of its flights in September 2012 as part of its attempt to attract more business passengers.

Rival budget carrier Ryanair is now planning to roll out reserved seats after issuing two profit warnings this year and slashing autumn prices.

Numis analyst Wyn Ellis said EasyJet is well-placed to grow even further in 2014, due to its range of take-off slots across Europe’s major airports, though he thinks the firm could be vulnerable to a “a temporary, and relatively minor, blip” in sales if the continent’s economic recovery wobbles again.

“The structural drivers for EasyJet remain intact. Legacy carriers will continue to retrench. Business traffic, allocated seating and non-seat revenue will support revenue growth while cost discipline will protect and enhance profitability,” Goodbody analyst Donal O’Neill said in a note to investors.