EasyJet shares are flying high as pre-tax profits are set to rise by over 40 per cent

Airline easyJet has announced that it expects pre-tax profits of £450-480m this year, a rise from £317m in the last period, "assuming no further significant disruption" (release).

Total revenue for the third quarter grew by 10.5% to £1,142 million, driven by a 3.6% increase in capacity and improvement in revenue per seat.

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With 73% of the second half seats now booked, revenue per seat at constant currency for the second half is performing better than the expectations set out at the time of the half year results and is now expected to increase by up to 6% compared to the second half of the prior year.

Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, says that "shares [are] still flying high":

While the financials are clearly positive, markets also welcoming news that 73% of H2 seats are now booked, showing how cost-conscious consumers are booking early to ensure value for money, ensuring visibility for the low cost operator and outperformance versus struggling national flag carriers. Shares +174% thanks to accelerated uptrend since October 2012 and +376% from lows of 300p in September 2011. Rising support currently around 1330p. Back trading all-time highs means little turbulence in terms of share price resistance with the only risk - as management points out - being any disruption to European travel.

Commenting on the results, Carolyn McCall, easyJet chief executive said:

easyJet has delivered a strong performance in the third quarter in a benign capacity environment for easyJet.