easyJet reports full-year trading profits

easyJet plc, Europe`s leading low-cost airline, today reported record full-year results for the financial year ended 30th September 2003, comfortably in line with expectations.
Highlights of the results include:
* Revenue up 69% to £932m

* Profit before non-trading items, goodwill and tax up 7% to £96m, supported by a strong second-half performance

* Profit before tax down 28% to £52m, reflecting the Iraq conflict in the first half of the year and a number of one-off costs associated with the DBA option, the integration of Go and the accelerated depreciation of aircraft

* Passenger numbers up 79% to 20.3m

* Ancillary revenue doubled to £52m


* Strong load factor of 84% maintained

* Cost per ASK reduced by 7.5% (before non-trading items, goodwill and tax)

* Average fare of £43.28, 6.7% lower than previous year

* Faster integration of Go-Fly and at lower cost than expected

* Earnings per share before goodwill amortisation of 12.7p (down from 15.5p)

* £335m cash on balance sheet

* 21 new routes introduced into service

* First Airbus A319s successfully introduced into the fleet (21 to be introduced in the current year).
easyJet Chief Executive, Ray Webster, said:
“This has been a year of two halves. Despite a challenging first half characterised by extremely high growth and external pressures (the Gulf conflict and economic uncertainty), we saw a return to strong profits in the second half as a lower rate of capacity growth and improved economic environment both helped to produce a profit before non-trading items, goodwill and tax of £96m.

“These are encouraging results, which demonstrate the popularity of our business model, in one of the most difficult years in our industry with revenues up, passengers up, profits before non-trading items up and unit costs down.

“In the current financial year, we are planning capacity growth in the order of 20%. Although there remains a degree of uncertainty, the economic environment is improving and is substantially better than at this time last year. Our business model, based on low-cost and convenience, has shown its resilience and I am cautiously optimistic about our performance in the current year.”