EasyJet is expecting full-year 2018 headline profit before tax of between £570-£580 million despite “disruption across Europe”.
In a trading update the airline said it would deliver a strong performance in the fourth quarter “with robust customer demand driving outperformance in both our passenger and ancillary revenue growth, and strong profitability”.
EasyJet admitted disruption across Europe – European industrial action and air traffic restrictions – continued to be “an industry wide issue” and was having an impact on revenue, cost and operational performance.
The airline added it had seen improved performance at Berlin Tegel, reducing the expected headline loss to around £115 million, along with further savings in integration costs.
Passenger numbers for the full-year excluding Tegel were expected to increase by 5.4% to about 84.6 million, driven by an expected increase in capacity of 4.2% to around 90.3 million seats – lower than originally planned and put down by easyJet to the level of external disruption.
Load factor for the full-year was expected to increase by 1 percentage points to 93.6%.
EasyJet said total headline cost excluding fuel and including Tegel was expected to be around £4,135 million and that total fuel cost including Tegel for full-year 2018 was expected to be around £1,185 million, including an expected additional £15 million cost compared to previous guidance as a result of a US dollar foreign exchange impact and carbon Emissions Trading System costs.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet chief executive, said: "We have benefited from a number of one-off events in 2018, including the bankruptcies of Monarch and Air Berlin, as well as Ryanair cancellations.”
He added that in the fourth quarter easyJet had changed its approach to technology development through better utilisation and development of existing systems on a modular basis, rather than working towards a full replacement of its core commercial platform.
“This has resulted in a non-headline charge of £65 million as we repurpose our systems to create a better service for our customers,” said Lundgren.
“We look forward to full-year 2019 as we continue to invest in the long-term strategic initiatives.”