easyJet delivers a strong trading and operational performance in its third quarter and announces the award of its European Air Operator Certificate in Austria.
SUMMARY - THIRD QUARTER PERFORMANCE
• Passengers carried increased by 10.8% to 22.3 million, driven by an increase in capacity of 9.5% to 24.0 million seats and load factor increasing by 1.1 percentage points to 93.1%.
• Total revenue per seat increased by 2.2% at constant currency, ahead of guidance and increased by 5.9% on a reported basis to £57.78 per seat. Total revenue in the quarter increased by 16.0% to £1,387 million, with a significant benefit from the move of Easter to April, higher load factors, as well as an improving underlying trend in the trading environment. Ongoing enhancements to our customer proposition and other revenue initiatives helped to stimulate bookings and build revenue momentum throughout the period.
• easyJet delivered strong cost control as headline cost per seat including fuel improved by 5.5% at constant currency, due to low fuel prices and a strong underlying cost focus. As anticipated easyJet’s headline cost per seat excluding fuel at constant currency was up 1.6% in the quarter reflecting planned investment in the resilience of the operation and the additional load.
• Operational performance for the quarter has improved as the investment in resilience has delivered improved on time performance figures across the network. A new ground handling agreement has been signed with DHL at Gatwick, commencing November 2017.
• Continued strong balance sheet with net cash of £426 million as at 30 June and reaffirmed “BBB+” investment grade rating by Standard & Poor’s.
• easyJet has received approval for its Air Operator Certificate and airline operating licence from the authorities in Austria, securing its future operations in Europe.
• Headline profit before tax guidance for FY2017 expected in the range of £380 million to £420 million.
Commenting; Carolyn McCall, easyJet Chief Executive said:
“easyJet has delivered a strong performance in the quarter right across the business.
“Our purposeful and disciplined growth continues to strengthen our market positions and we are seeing an underlying improving revenue trend. Our continuing product and digital innovation is generating revenue growth. Our underlying cost control is strong, while our investment in resilience is delivering results in our operational performance.
“Our European AOC has now been awarded and the first flight by an easyJet Europe aircraft takes place today. That means our flying rights in Europe will be secure after the UK leaves the EU.
“Although we expect capacity to continue to put pressure on yields, our progress this year has enabled us to upgrade this year's PBT forecast and demonstrates that after a difficult 18 months of external challenges easyJet once again has positive momentum.“