EasyJet says it expects to deliver full-year pre-tax profits of between £400 million and £440 million, “in line with market expectations”.
The low-cost carrier on Thursday (18 July) posted third-quarter revenue up 11.4% to £1.76 billion and passenger numbers up 8% to 26.4 million.
During the three months to 30 June, passenger revenue increased 10.7% to £1.39 billion, while ancillary revenue rose 14.3% to £374 million.
The airline has also sold 78% of its summer seats, which has contributed to its positive outlook for the rest of the year.
Chief executive Johan Lundgren said the “robust” results came despite “tougher macroeconomic conditions”, and had been boosted by “solid” Easter performance and various “late yield initiatives”.
Lundgren added the airline had also managed to drive cost per seat, excluding fuel, down 4% at constant currency during Q3.
"We remain focused on delivering our revenue initiatives and driving costs down to enhance our profitability per seat,” said Lundgren. “With second-half forward bookings at 78%, we have better visibility on the second half and expect to deliver a profit before tax of between £400 million and £440 million, in line with market expectations."
EasyJet said its focus on initiatives to optimise late yields while competitors’ were constraining capacity had helped the airline delivery strong revenue growth, along with a late Easter.
On the flip side, EasyJet said the one-off revenue boost from the failures of Monarch and Air Berlin had now abated, adding Brexit and economic uncertainty in Europe had softened customer demand.
The airline’s on-time performance improved 0.9% year-on-year, while cancellations fell from 2,606 in Q3 2018 to 847 in Q3 2019. Delays greater than three hours fell 32% in Q3 2018.
EasyJet also confirmed it had increased its shareholding among EU nationals, excluding UK citizens, to 50.6%, above the crucial 50% mark required by the EU to operate in the union post-Brexit.
Ryanair chief operating officer Peter Bellew, meanwhile, has quit Ryanair for easyJet, where he will take up the same role.