EasyJet posts half-year results

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore May 10, 2016 21:00

EasyJet posts half-year results

The strongest-ever ski season and sustained beach demand from UK travelers has boosted easyJet passenger numbers during the six months to March 31, 2016. Passengers grew to 31 million, driven by disciplined capacity growth of 7.4% with stable load factor of 89.7%. Total revenue increased only slightly to £1.771bn – an increase of 03% – while revenues per seat decreased by 4.2% year-on-year on a constant currency basis, and by 6.6% per seat on a reported basis to £51.29. Cost per seat excluding fuel grew by 0.5% and decreased by 4.3% including fuel, on a constant currency basis. Total cost per seat decreased by 5.0% on a reported basis to £51.98.

The low-cost carrier reported a loss of £24 million due to higher capacity and tighter cost control. Analysts had been expecting a loss of £19.9 million on revenues of £1.8bn.

EasyJet reports forward bookings in line with last year and states that it is “well placed to grow revenue and profit this financial year and deliver sustainable returns and growth for shareholders”.

EasyJet commented that disciplined allocation of capacity, stable load factor and strong October trading were offset by the impact from external shocks to demand from terrorism events relating to Sharm el-Sheikh, Paris and Brussels.
EasyJet highlights the fact that it received sector leading credit ratings during this period and issued a successful bond in February, raising €500 million. easyJet ended the first half with cash and money market deposits of £1,057 million, an increase of £81 million year-on-year

In the six months to 31 March 2016, easyJet returned £219 million (or 55.2 pence per share) to shareholders via ordinary dividends at a payout ratio of 40% for the year ended 30 September 2015

“easyJet has  delivered a robust financial performance during the half year despite the well-publicised external events,” said Carolyn McCall, easyJet Chief Executive. “Underlying consumer demand has been strong with UK beach traffic providing a healthy start to the half and easyJet’s biggest-ever ski season helping to deliver increased passenger numbers and higher revenue during H1.

“Consumers have enjoyed lower fares, which have decreased by 6% year-on-year, the second successive year of falling fares, as the benefits of lower fuel costs are passed on to passengers. Active cost control by the airline has helped maintain margins.

“This performance is a clear demonstration of the strengths of easyJet’s unique combination of Europe’s leading network coupled with friendly service, low fares, and digital and data leadership.

“We are confident that over the full year we will again grow passenger numbers, revenue and profit. As a result of easyJet balance sheet and the Boards confidence in the future success of the business, the annual dividend payout ratio will increase by a quarter to 50% subject to AGM approval.”

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore May 10, 2016 21:00