easyJet has reported ‘better than expected’ interim results for the 6 months to 31 March 2006. Highlights include:
* Pre-tax loss of £40m; good first half
performance despite unit fuel costs up 49% (£55m) or £3.01 per seat.
* Cost reduction momentum continues: costs per seat excluding fuel down 6.2%
or £1.84 per seat from £29.59 to £27.75.
* Total revenue per seat up 0.8% in the spite of the effect of Easter
falling in the first half in 2005 and the second half in 2006.
* Ancillary revenues significantly improved, up 31% or £0.76 per seat.
* 14.9m passengers carried, up 10.1%.
* Strong balance sheet with cash increasing by £59m to £726m.
* Continued growth in network to 235 routes and 67 airports, utilising 110 aircraft.
* 28 new routes and 4 new destinations started operating in the period with 8
further new cities announced for summer 2006.
* Continued strong operating performance with 80% of flights arriving within 15
minutes of scheduled arrival and 96% arriving within an hour.
Commenting on the results, Andy Harrison, Chief Executive, said:
“easyJet’s growth continues unabated, based on our unique and outstanding customer
proposition of the lowest fares, convenient airports and customer care. We grew our
revenues by 14% in the first half, launching 28 new routes and inaugurating services
to our newest base in Milan Malpensa.
“We are encouraged by our first half performance, which is slightly ahead of our
expectations at the time of our AGM in February. Successful cost reduction and
revenue improvements, especially in ancillaries have largely offset the considerable
hike in fuel prices and the effect of Easter moving from the first half in 2005 to
the second half in 2006.
“Our stronger than expected first half performance and a good Easter provide the
basis for an improved full year outlook. We are conscious that we have a big summer
ahead, that the price of oil remains a risk, and we continue to operate in a highly
competitive environment. Notwithstanding these uncertainties, we now anticipate
full year passenger revenue per seat to be broadly in line with 2005, and expect
ancillary revenue to grow at around twenty per cent per seat for the full year. Our
continued cost management should result in a fall of approximately five per cent per
seat excluding fuel. We assume the price of Jet fuel will stay around current
levels and we maintain a neutral view on exchange rates. Overall, we now expect
pre-tax profit to grow by ten to fifteen per cent compared with 2005.”