EasyJet profits sink despite record passenger numbers

Collapse of rivals benefits Easyjet as it publishes full year results

easyJet hails “robust” performance despite profit dip

The company said its headline profit before tax was GBP408 million in the year, within its revised guidance range of GBP405 million to GBP410 million, after raising its target three times in the year from its original target of GBP367 million.

Pretax profit for the year was, albeit slightly, ahead of Bloomberg's consensus estimate of GBP402 million.

Full-year pre-tax profits at EasyJet dropped 17.3 per cent as the airline weathered a currency hit of £101m.

Total revenue increased by 8% to £5 billion.

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Other key metrics included record capacity, load and passenger numbers - the latter up nearly 10% at 80.2 million.

On the currency markets, the pound edged up 0.05% against the dollar to $1.3241 and was little changed against the euro at €1.1279.

"EasyJet delivered a robust performance during a hard year for the aviation industry, flying a record 80 million passengers", said the carrier's outgoing chief executive Carolyn McCall, who announced her departure in July. The budget airline took 80 million passengers over the course of the year - a growth of 8.5 percent.

It's proposing a dividend of 40.9 pence per share. Load factor was at 92.6% compared to 91.6%, a year ago. This will be paid on March 23 to shareholders on the register at close of business on March 2.

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The no-frills carrier said trading in its first quarter was "encouraging" - suggesting it was benefiting from the demise of Monarch Airlines, which collapsed last month in the wake of similar turbulence at Air Berlin and Alitalia.

EasyJet's model is resilient and sustainable and we now have a huge amount of positive momentum which will enable the airline to continue to grow profitably.

As of 08:43 GMT, easyJet's share price had jumped 5.48 percent to 1,348.00p, outperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which has slipped marginally into the red and is now 0.05 percent worse off at 7,386.12 points.

Despite its upbeat assessment on bookings for the current year, the company warned that costs from its deal to buy up to 25 aircraft and recruit 1,000 staff from Air Berlin would weigh on annual profits for 2017/18. The acquisition is expected to close in December 2017.

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