easyJet reveals record profits

easJet have reported a record profit before tax of £129 million, up 56% from £83 million in 2005.
Other highlights include:

? Passenger numbers rise by 11.5% to 33 million.

? Passenger revenues increased by 5.9% or £2.13 per seat, driven by strong summer trading.

? Ancillary revenues improved significantly in all areas rising by 34% or £0.86 per seat.

? Unit costs excluding fuel fell by 1.5% or £0.42 per seat from £28.78 to £28.36.

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? Unit fuel costs increased by 33% or £2.48 per seat.

? Return on equity increased to 10.1% up 3 percentage points from 7.1% in 2005.

? 58 new routes and 11 new destinations were launched, expanding the network to 262 routes and 74 airports in 21 countries.

? Fleet grown to 122 aircraft with an average age of 2.2 years, making it one of the most modern and environmentally friendly fleets in Europe.

? Further expansion of fleet planned with 52 new A319s ordered, and options secured over a further 75.  This brings the total number of aircraft on firm order to 104 worth over $4 billion, with a further 123 unexercised options still available.

? Strong balance sheet with cash of £861 million.

Commenting on the results, Andy Harrison, easyJet Chief Executive said:

“2006 was another year of successful growth with 33 million passengers choosing to fly easyJet, attracted by our winning combination of low cost, with care and convenience. We have continued to expand our range of destinations with 58 new routes launched during the year and the successful opening of our new base in Milan Malpensa.

“Our profits increased by 56% to a record £129 million, despite the big increase in fuel costs. Our profit growth was driven by a 34% increase in ancillary revenues per seat, significant improvements in passenger yields and a continuing reduction in our non fuel unit costs.

“Our Airbus order supports both our growth and our environmental credentials.  The combination of our modern fleet, with an average age of 2.2 years, and high utilisation means that we emit nearly 30% fewer emissions per passenger kilometre than traditional airlines flying similar routes.  We welcome the Stern Review, which says that aviation accounts for just 1.6% of global greenhouse gas emissions.  We believe the best way forward is to bring aviation into the European Emissions Trading System as soon as possible.

“Today’s Airbus order underpins our future growth and we expect to increase capacity in 2007 by 15%.  Current trading is in line with our expectations and we see yields for winter broadly in line with last year.  As we look further forward we anticipate more pressure on yields in the summer due to continued aggressive competition.  We remain focused on improving execution and delivery of results by revenue enhancement, network development and cost reduction.  This year has seen an encouraging step towards improved return on equity.  The Board remains confident that the business will make good progress in the coming years.”

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