easyJet has unveiled half-year losses hitting £129.8 million following a £90 million increase in fuel costs but despite the doubling in the deficit for its weaker trading period, the company claims it remains on course to make a profit in the full year.
drew encouragement from growth in revenues per seat of 14.9%, with passenger numbers up by 2.9% to 19.4 million in the period.
EasyJet also said fuel costs, which increased by £3.87 per seat in the half year, were expected to unwind as fuel hedging policies adjust to lower market prices.
Commenting on the results, Andy Harrison, easyJet Chief Executive said:
“The 7.6% growth in our constant currency revenue per seat is a strong result in the current economic climate and underlines the strength of our network and our competitive position. Overall capacity in the European short-haul market shrank by 5.6%, however, easyJet gained market share in the period, with passenger numbers growing by 2.9% to 19.4 million.
“The reduction in our H1 profit margin was driven by an increase of £3.87 per seat in our unit fuel costs (equivalent to £90.6 million), which will unwind as our fuel hedging policies adjust to lower market prices. The movement of Easter into the second half of the year also depressed our first half margins.
“While we remain cautious about the consumer economy, at current fuel prices and exchange rates, easyJet expects to be profitable for the full year.
easyJet is financially strong, with cash and money market deposits as at 31 March 2009 exceeding £1 billion, and has good and well-established market positions and the Board remains confident in easyJet’s future prospects.”