EasyJet, Ryanair and IAG are helped by post-Games boost

Marion Dakers
EASYJET shares soared 3.5 per cent yesterday after it raised its profit forecasts thanks to a jump in post-Olympic traffic.

The budget carrier’s chief executive Carolyn McCall said demand from London “increased towards the upper end of expectations” after the Games, helping to lift its pre-tax profits to between £310m and £320m for the year to the end of September, up from £280m to £300m.

However, the company said that currency movements and a bigger fuel bill are adding to cost pressures.

EasyJet said a strong rise in summer bookings from Britain to Malaga and Alicante in Spain and Faro in Portugal had helped revenue per seat by as much as 5.5 per cent in the last six months. Annual passenger numbers rose by 7.1 per cent to 58.4m.

“McCall’s second full year in charge has delivered another impressive increase in profits. That’s no mean feat in view of the oil price,” said Charles Stanley analyst Douglas McNeill.

Ryanair also reported a late summer lift yesterday, with passenger numbers in September up eight per cent on last year to 7.84m.

Meanwhile British Airways owner IAG said traffic rose 8.7 per cent on last year to 5.1m, helped by the acquisition of BMI boosting domestic UK and Spanish traffic by a quarter.

Excluding the acquisition, traffic rose by an underlying 3.7 per cent. IAG credited its post-Olympic sale for some of the gains.

First and business-class travel rose eight per cent, while non-premium traffic was up 4.6 per cent.

The firm said trading conditions remained good in London, but warned of continuing economic turbulence at its Madrid base.

Shares in IAG closed up 2.96 per cent at 163.7p.