EasyJet shares take a breather as losses widen

Marion Dakers
EASYJET said yesterday the late Easter would mean wider half-year losses, sending its shares down four per cent.

EasyJet expects to post a loss of between £70m and £90m for the half-year, compared to £61m a year ago, in a traditionally loss-making period for many airlines.

The wider losses are partly due to the Easter getaway taking place in April this year, outside of the financial period. The holiday rush last year generated £25m in additional revenues, EasyJet said.

The low-cost firm carried 14.3m passengers in the final three months of 2013, up 4.2 per cent on a year ago. Traffic from business travellers was up 8.9 per cent.

Revenues per seat rose 3.4 per cent to £55.71, helped by the introduction of allocated seating and services to further afield including flights to Moscow and Sofia. Overall revenues rose 7.7 per cent to £897m.

Costs per seat excluding fuel rose three per cent, which the firm said was due to looming rises in airport charges and higher maintenance costs.

EasyJet is expecting to get its first new A320 planes in 2017, which will lower maintenance costs in future.

“EasyJet has made a good start to the year. We have delivered revenue per seat growth in the quarter against a challenging competitive environment and the tough comparison with the prior year,” said chief executive Carolyn McCall.

EasyJet’s shares, which more than doubled in value last year, closed at 1,672p in London.

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