Tuesday 12 December 2017

High-flying EasyJet ready to ascend to FTSE 100 next week

Kari Lundgren

EasyJet is set to ascend to the FTSE 100 Index next week, joining British Airways on the UK benchmark less than a month after shares of Europe's second-biggest low-cost carrier rose to a record level.

EasyJet has doubled its value to £3.97bn (€4.59bn) in the past 12 months, making the Luton-based airline the 85th-largest company listed in London yesterday morning. Businesses can join the FTSE 100 only when they rank among the top 90 to avoid yo-yoing.

From two planes in 1995, EasyJet has grown to 214 Airbus SAS aircraft carrying more than 59 million people annually, or 20 million fewer than Ryanair. Led by chief executive Carolyn McCall, the company has refined its no-frills model, using allocated seating, flexible tickets and corporate agents to grab a bigger slice of the business market.

"There's been a huge cost focus and they've been very clever at targeting high-fee paying business traffic at primary airports and taking that market share from the legacy carriers, who have been cutting," said Donal O'Neill, an analyst with Goodbody in Dublin. "The market value reflects the underlying performance and the performance has been phenomenal."

FTSE Group will announce its next quarterly assessment of changes to the benchmark's membership on Thursday, basing its decision on closing prices from the previous day.

Irish Independent

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