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November 18, 2009

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EasyJet remains upbeat

BRITISH low-cost airline easyJet yesterday reported a 64.5 percent fall in full-year profit but said it expected profit to be substantially higher in 2010.

The carrier posted an underlying pretax profit of 43.7 million pounds (US$73.6 million) on revenue up 12.9 percent at 2.66 billion pounds for the year at the end of September.

EasyJet said the reduction in profitwas driven by fuel cost increases of 86.1million pounds and interest income, whichwas 30.5 million pounds lower.

"The issue with our profits is to do with the way in which our fuel hedging works; we average fuel prices which means that there is a delay between the drop in market prices and the benefit to easyJet so we'll see a 100 million pound improvement to our profits in 2010," Chief Executive Andy Harrison told BBC Radio yesterday.

Shares in easyJet were 0.4 percent higher at 392.4 pence in early trade yesterday, valuing the firm at about 1.6 billion pounds.

The airline said passenger numbers rose 3.4 percent to 45.2 million. Forward bookings were "broadly in line" with last year.


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