easyJet has announced pre-tax profits for 1997-98 of £2,318,938. The figures for the year to September 30th are for the UK company only, which is 100% owned by easyJet holdings Ltd, a Jersey registered company that also holds 40% of a Swiss registered airline.
During the year, easyJet flew 1,700,000 passengers, a 65% increase on the previous year and a 304% increase relative to the first year in operation, signifying considerable acceptance of the easyJet product.
Turnover at £77,000,000 has increased by 67% relative to the previous year and by 342% relative to the first year in operation. Profitability turn-around from 96-97 to 97-98 was £5.6 million.
Company growth and expansion has led to easyJet playing an important role in the local economies in which it employs its staff. During the year employee numbers increased by over 90%. In addition, the “virtual” nature of the company and reliance upon sub contractors for non-core business activity has resulted in further employment in all of the easyJet bases and destinations.
Both an easyJet website and on-line bookings were launched during the financial year. Last week approximately 13% of regular bookings are made on-line, a figure which has risen to 40% of total bookings during promotional periods. This provides another highly useful direct distribution channel for the airline and helps to maintain the essential low cost base.
During the year, British Airways launched their own low cost airline with a business plan which is almost identical to that of easyJet. The anti-competitive issues relating to the behaviour of British Airways are the subject of pending court proceeding. However, the entry into the low cost market of major carriers underlines the potential for development within the market and serves as an endorsement for the product.
easyJet is committed to having one of the world`s youngest fleets and a further 8 brand new Boeing 737-300s are scheduled for delivery during 1999. In the autumn of 2000 easyJet is committed to begin taking delivery of 15 next generation 737-700s with options for a further 15. Through this expansion easyJet intends to become a major force within European aviation during the next 5 years.