Low-cost airline easyJet carried a record 88.5 million passengers in the year to September 30th, up 10.2 per cent, with a record load factor of 92.9 per cent.
The European carrier reported headline profit before tax of £578 million for the year, up £170 million or 41.4 per cent on 2017.
Reported profit before tax increased to £445 million, while per seat it increased by 28.7 per cent to £6.07.
easyJet also saw total revenue stand at £5,898 million for the period, up 16.8 per cent, while revenue per seat grew 6.4 per cent to £61.94.
Commenting on the results, Johan Lundgren, easyJet chief executive, said: “easyJet has delivered a great performance during the year, growing headline profit before tax by 41 per cent, once again flying a record number of passengers at our highest ever annual load factor.
“The integration of new operations at Tegel has also progressed well and our brand consideration in Berlin has grown strongly.
“Our financial success and increasing customer loyalty demonstrate the resilience of our operations, the underlying strength of our business and our unrivalled customer experience.”
easyJet has been growing its presence at Tegel airport in Berlin following the collapse of rival airBerlin.
The carrier spent €40 million acquiring part of the failed airline’s operations at the airport last December, a move easyJet said gave it a strong number one position in Europe’s third largest market.
However, easyJet lost £152 million on the venture last year.
“Our strategy continues to ensure we are well positioned for the future,” added Lundgren.
“We have made considerable progress on our new initiatives in holidays, business and loyalty, which will enable us to grow profitably.
“While disruption continues to be a major challenge for the industry, we are investing in resilience to help to mitigate the impact on our customers.”
Looking ahead, easyJet said capacity growth in the first half of next year is forecast at circa 15 per cent and at circa ten per cent for the full year.
Lundgren concluded: “Forward bookings are solid, with 50 per cent of seats sold in the first half, in line with the prior year.
“We are confident in our positioning for the future and are focused on driving future returns, positive free cash flow over the longer term and maximising our headline profit per seat as we continue to deliver value for our customers and shareholders.”