Easyjet shares fall despite another record year of profits
Ryanair rival Easyjet has reported record profits for the fifth year in a row. Its pre-tax profit was £686m (€981m) and it vowed that terror attacks would not have a lasting impact on air travel demand.
The airline has also ordered 36 extra Airbus aircraft that will be delivered between 2018 and 2021. They're expected to result in a further cost saving of £27m at the carrier by 2021.
Revenue at the group rose 3.5pc to £4.7bn (€6.7bn), and by 6.5pc on a constant currency basis. It carried 68.6 million passengers during the financial year, a 6pc increase on the previous financial year.
Easyjet added 5pc capacity during the year, and revenue per seat was 1.5pc higher.
Lower fuel prices and currency impacts helped to cut costs per seat by 3.4pc.
Chief executive Carolyn McCall said the outlook for the longer term is positive. "We expect demand in our markets to be sustained and for Easyjet to continue to be a winner in its markets," she said.
She added that passenger growth should rise by 7pc a year, and that the airline will sustain margins through rigorous cost control and "up-gauging" its fleet. Easyjet said that demand remains resilient and that forward bookings are in line with last year.
The airline's single biggest market is the UK, where it has a 20pc market share and bases 134 aircraft.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary has predicted that the Irish carrier will soon be the biggest airline in the UK.
In France, Easyjet has a 14pc share of the market, and in Italy it has 12pc. In Germany it has 4pc - similar to that which Ryanair has there.
Shares in Easyjet closed about 3.8pc lower in London yesterday.