easyJet share price takes off as interim revenue tops £2bn
Luton-based airline easyJet saw revenues increase 19.5 per cent to £2.183 billion in the six months to March 31. The UK share price took off 47p (2.79 per cent) to hit 1,732p at the time of writing on Tuesday lunchtime.
Passenger numbers increased by three million to 36.8 million, including 0.7 million from easyJet’s new Berlin Tegel operations launched in January.
Capacity increased by 7.8 per cent as easyJet grew its existing network by 4.6 per cent and added an additional 1.2 million seats at Tegel.
The company has net cash of £665m – up from £353m year-on-year. Headline profit before tax excluding Tegel was £8 million, a £220 million improvement on H1 2017 (H1 2017 loss £212m).
Looking to the near horizon, easyJet plans to invest in enhancing its propositions in holidays, business passengers, customer loyalty and data. Forward bookings are ahead of last year – at 80 per cent for the third quarter and 57 per cent for the second half.
easyJet expects headline profit before tax for the financial year to September 30, including the impact of a headline loss from Tegel, to be in the range of £530m-£580m.
Chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “easyJet has delivered an excellent performance reporting a profit of £8 million, one of our best results ever in the winter trading period (excluding the one-off impact of the start-up of our Tegel operation).
“Total revenue was above £2bn for the first time, up almost 20 per cent year on year. This was driven by a record number of passengers at 37 million and our highest ever ancillary sales due to giving passengers more options and lower prices on hold luggage along with our improved inflight bistro.
“We also reached the milestone of carrying 13 million business travellers a year – partly supported by the increase in city to city routes as we successfully started operations in Berlin Tegel.
“I have announced an increase in investment in easyJet Holidays to gain a greater share of that market, showcased a series of initiatives to increase the number of passengers travelling on business.”
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren