Easyjet sees lift in passenger numbers and revenue

Easyjet revenues rose by 16.7 per cent in the final three months of 2011 while passenger numbers lifted 8.1 per cent.

The company, however, said that the heavy snowfall last year flattered the figures this time round..

The low cost airline said that it carried 12.9m passengers over the period.

Keith Bowman, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “Despite a difficult backdrop, easyJet continues to surprise on the upside. Sales growth is outpacing cost growth, with the group’s move to attract business travellers showing early promise. The better weather this winter has played its part, while the drive across Europe to cut costs continues to fuel momentum.

Equities analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, Keith Bowman said: "As always in the airline industry, potential pitfalls are plenty. The price of oil remains overshadowed by the Iranian situation, acts of terrorism are a constant threat, whilst direct competition continues to grow – a fact underlined by yesterday’s substantial Norwegian Boeing order.

Nonetheless, today’s announcement is likely to see full year forecasts upgraded. The group’s balance sheet provides firm foundation, while management is expressing cautious confidence for the outlook. In all, although remaining higher risk, market consensus opinion may again swing from a strong hold to a tentative buy.”