EasyJet shares take off after better forecast

Marion Dakers

EASYJET shares rose as much as seven per cent yesterday after the low-cost airline lifted its profit forecast for the year.

The FTSE 100 firm said revenues were up 10.5 per cent at £1.14bn in the three months to the end of June, prompting the company to raise its earnings outlook for the year to between £450m and £480m.

Analysts had pencilled in a profit of £433m.

EasyJet said a 3.6 per cent increase in capacity, plus revenues per seat up 6.1 per cent to £61.44, were behind the quarterly growth.

EasyJet has delivered a strong performance in the third quarter in a benign capacity environment for EasyJet,” said chief executive Carolyn McCall, referring to the firm’s move to add flights on routes where rivals are withdrawing.

EasyJet has sold 73 per cent of its seats for the six months to October, its traditional peak period.

Costs per seat excluding fuel rose 6.4 per cent, driven by higher airport charges and the expense of de-icing planes during the late cold snap in April.

The number of planes in EasyJet’s fleet rose one per cent to 212.