easyJet releases trading statement for first quarter FY15

A trading statement covering the quarter ending 31 December 2014 – the first quarter of its 2015 fiscal year (1Q15) – has revealed easyJet’s passenger numbers increased by 4.1% to 14.9 million in comparison with 1Q14, resulting in a load factor increase of 1.0 percentage point to 89.7% over the same respective periods.easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall explained, “We enjoyed a strong October across the network – particularly on UK leisure flights to beach destinations and on French domestic routes where we continued to build passenger numbers after a busy September.”The airline’s total revenue grew by £34 million to £931 million and revenue per seat grew by 0.8% on a reported basis to £56.16 per seat (or 3.7% at constant currency), which the airline said was due to disciplined allocation of capital across the network, revenue management, digital initiatives and growth in business passenger revenue.McCall continued, “We further strengthened our network in the quarter adding around 500,000 seats, the majority of which are from airports where easyJet has a number one or number two position. This, combined with our new TV ads aimed at business travellers, enabled easyJet to sell record numbers of seats to business travellers in the first quarter.”The airline confirmed that the seats flown during 1Q15 grew by 2.9% from 1Q14 to 16.6 million.The full year cost per seat is expected to be up by 2% (in line with guidance) because of increases in charges at regulated airports (mainly in Germany and Italy), crew costs associated with building a resilient operation ahead of base openings, the phasing of marketing expenditure on the business traveller punctuality campaign and an increase in maintenance costs associated with the planned ageing of the fleet.Despite this, McCall is confident. “easyJet is well positioned to continue to deliver returns and growth to shareholders,” she declared.With first half bookings in line with last year, the airline expects to report a first half loss before tax of between £10 million and £30 million assuming normal levels of disruption, compared with the £53 million loss reported in the first half of the last fiscal year.

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