Strong Maiden Results From easyJet plc

easyJet plc, the fast-growing low cost airline, today announced maiden preliminary results for the year ended 30 September 2001.

Highlights of the full year`s performance include:

* Profit before tax up 82% to £40.1m (2000: £22.1m)

* Revenues up 35% to £356.9m (2000: £263.7m)

* Passenger numbers up 26% to 7.1m (2000: 5.6m)
* Load factor up 2.2 percentage points to 83% (2000: 80.8%)


* Average internet sales percentage over the financial year 86.5% (2000: 65.1%)

* Introduction of nine new routes

Ray Webster, Chief Executive, commented: “easyJet continues to focus on strengthening its network density. The introduction of nine new routes over the last financial year means that easyJet now flies to 17 airports and operates 35 routes.
“Orders are in place for 10 new Boeing aircraft, which will arrive during the next financial year and easyJet plans to take delivery of all 25 of its B737 - 700s between October 2001 and May 2004.

“We believe easyJet is in a strong position to capitalise on the downsizing of other carriers` networks. Its business model has been built on high frequency between major cities, creating credible alternatives for the business traveller. Also, if the economies slow, we expect that business travellers will seek low-cost alternatives and will migrate from the full-fare carriers.

“These are still very early days since the New York and Washington attacks, and all airlines are still learning about the changed European environment. We are cautiously optimistic about the trading environment, and believe that our business model is robust and able to operate within whatever security regime exists in Europe.

“Although global demand will be affected, easyJet believes that low-cost airlines will be more resilient, particularly if they fly point-to-point within Europe. In comparison with most national flag carriers, the low-cost point-to-point European airlines should prosper.

“The industry will experience some short-term pain, but we expect that the contraction of the industry is likely to provide a range of unique slot and airport opportunities for easyJet. Also, the availability of cheaper aircraft and a larger pool of pilots may aid growth opportunities.

“While some other airlines are announcing job losses and fleet capacity reductions, we look forward to hiring additional staff to deliver planned growth”.