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Britain's easyJet raises profit forecast after strong passenger growth

Britain's easyJet raises profit forecast after strong passenger growth

Budget airline easyJet raised its full year profit forecast on Friday on the back of increased passenger numbers and higher ticket prices.
EasyJet, Europe's second largest low-cost airline behind Ryanair Holdings PLC, now expects pretax profit for the year to Sept. 30, 2006 to be "slightly ahead" of its previous guidance of growth of 40 to 50 percent. The airline made a pretax profit of 82.6 million pounds (US$155 million; euro121.85 million) last year.
EasyJet said its revenue for the year to Sept. 30 increased 20.7 percent to 1.62 billion pounds (US$3.05 billion; euro2.4 billion). Passenger numbers over the full year rose 12 percent to 32.95 million and revenue per seat rose 7.8 percent.
Low-cost airlines now have 24 percent share of the European market, up from 5 percent in 2001, according to the Official Airline Guide.
EasyJet Chief Executive Officer Andrew Harrison has added planes and routes from bases including Lisbon and Milan Malpensa since his appointment in December.
Rival Ryanair, which on Thursday announced a euro1.48 billion (US$1.88 billion) hostile takeover bid for Aer Lingus PLC, has also raised its full year profit forecast after opening several new routes.
EasyJet said that it carried 3 million passengers in September, an increase of 9.8 percent on the same month last year.
"September revenue was slightly ahead of expectations marking an encouraging end to easyJet's financial year," the company said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.
Load factor, a measure of how full planes are, was 86.5, an increase of 0.1 percentage points on September last year.
In the previous fiscal year, easyJet reported a 3.7 percent rise in annual net profit to 42.6 million pounds (euro63.2 million; US$80.2 million) on revenue of 1.3 billion pounds (euro2.45 billion; US$2.2 billion).
Shares in the carrier rose 0.75 percent to 501.75 pence (US$9.42; euro7.41) on the London Stock Exchange. The airline's full year results will be announced Nov. 14.


Updated : 2021-04-13 01:20 GMT+08:00