easyJet plc, Europe`s leading low-cost airline, today reported record full-year results for the financial year ended 30th September 2002.
Highlights of the year include:
Profit before tax up 78% to £71.6m (2001: £40.1m) /// Revenues up 55% to £552m (2001: £357m) /// Passenger numbers up 60% to 11.4m (2001: 7.1m) /// Cost per Available Seat Kilometre down 1.3% to 4.46 pence (2001: 4.52 pence) /// Average net fare down 4% to £46 (2001: £48) /// Profit before tax, goodwill and exceptionals1 up 86% to £81.8m (2001: £44.1m)
In the year, easyJet was able to take advantage of the problems affecting the traditional airline sector. The airline has grown organically at over 40%, added eight new routes from London Gatwick, increasing the number of services to eleven (as British Airways scaled back its operations) and gained a foothold in Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly from which it now operates on four routes.
The acquisition of Go Fly (completed on 31 July 2002) enabled easyJet to emulate the effects of many years of organic growth in a single step to become Europe`s largest low-cost airline. The rationale of combining two airlines with almost identical route network strategies and cultures was compelling. The integration of the two businesses is well advanced, with two significant milestones - single brand and single UK Air Operator`s Certificate - close to completion.
The option to acquire Deutsche BA, which is exercisable until August 2003, provides easyJet a low risk, low-cost way to assess and enter the German market.
In March, Stelios Haji-Ioannou announced his intention to step-down as Chairman of easyJet plc. His replacement, Sir Colin Chandler, formally takes over today, 26 November 2002.
In October 2002 easyJet selected Airbus as the preferred supplier for up to 240 new Airbus A319 aircraft in a deal which is expected to provide easyJet significant financial benefits. The deal was formally announced in the new financial year and negotiations with Airbus are at an advanced stage. The Company expects to sign formal documentation and seek shareholders` approval in the near future.
At the time Stelios announced his intention to retire, the Company stated that it would review the Brand and Relationship Agreements with the easyGroup. The Company has decided not to amend those documents and the current arrangements remain in place.
Ray Webster, easyJet Chief Executive, said:
“This outstanding performance in our second full year as a public company is the perfect farewell present for Stelios. It is his vision which has created easyJet, and we have every intention of delivering similar performances in the future.”
The easyJet plc full-year results include two months of financial data from Go Fly. Stripping out Go Fly`s contribution to produce comparative numbers for easyJet on a stand-alone basis, easyJet`s top line numbers would include:
Revenues up 36% to £486m (2001: £357m) /// Operating Profit up 49% to £57m (2001: £38m) /// Passenger numbers up 43% to 10.2m (2001: 7.1m)
easyJet, including Go Fly, currently operates a fleet of 64 Boeing 737s on 88 routes between 36 airports and employs a team of 3,100 people.
1Exceptional items in 2002 relates to the £7.2 million provision for the investment in The Airline Group Limited.