easyJet posts 21.5 percent profit rise, driven by higher passenger numbers
Budget airline easyJet posted a 21.5% jump in annual profit, which it says was due to higher passenger numbers. Analysts expect the no-frills carrier to raise its dividend.
The Luton-based airline says forward bookings for the winter season are slightly ahead.
Easyjet posted £581 million ($909 million) profit for the full-year ended September, which was marginally above its recently upgraded guidance of between £575 million and £580 million. Its profit in the previous year was £478 million.
Ordinary dividend per share will be raised by 35.5% to 45.4 pence. No special dividend was proposed.
A total of 64.8 million passenger were transported, 7% more than in the previous year.
Regarding the full year results, easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall said:
“easyJet has continued to execute its strategy, delivering another strong performance and enabling easyJet to deliver record profits for the fourth year in a row. We are also proposing to increase the proportion of our profits after tax paid in dividends from one third to 40%, reflecting our confidence in the future of easyJet.”
“Our performance demonstrates our continued focus on cost and progress against every strategic revenue priority. Our people are fully aligned behind our strategy and this gives us strong momentum to continue delivering.”
“easyJet has opened up clear blue sky between us and our competitors – both legacy and low cost – with our unique and winning combination of the best route network connecting Europe’s primary airports, with great value fares and friendly service. I would like to thank all of our people who have worked so hard to deliver sustainable growth and returns for our shareholders.”
Europe’s second-largest budget airline after Ryanair said the acquisition of slots at Gatwick from Flybe helped boost its performance.
Seat availability on easyJet flights increased by 5.1% to 71.5 million, which were more than 90% filled.
Fifty-seven percent of current customers are rebooking each year, the company reported, meaning that passenger loyalty is improving.