Glasgow boost

Holidaying Britons help easyJet return to profit

EasyJet holidaymakers
Britons continue to prioritise holidays despite cost of living pressures

Budget airline easyJet swung back into profit following a record second-half performance driven by Britons continuing to prioritise holidays.

The company delivered a positive outlook for the year ahead and reinstated its dividend after a three-year absence.

It is also basing a sixth aircraft at Glasgow airport from next summer as it continues to grow in Scotland. The airline will create 40 jobs, taking its staffing in the west of Scotland to about 300.

Routes to Rome, Larnaca, in Cyprus, and Enfidha, in Tunisia, will run from Glasgow for the first time.

The board is recommending a final dividend of 4.5p per share. As previously stated, the airline intends to increase this to 20% of profits in the current financial year.

EasyJet reported a headline pre-tax profit of £445m in the 12 months to 30 September, compared with a loss of £178m in the previous year and in line with management’s guidance of £440-460m.

Total revenue rose by 42% to £8.17 billion as a result of pricing strength, increased flown capacity, improved load factors and the continued growth of easyJet holidays

Capacity increased 14% year-on-year to 92.6m seats, passenger numbers were up 19% at 82.8m, while the load factor – a key measure of how full airline’s planes are – improved by 3 percentage points to 89%.

Headline costs were also up 30% at £7.72bn due increased volumes, higher fuel costs and “industry-wide inflationary pressures”, the company said.

“Our record summer performance demonstrates the success of our strategy and that demand for easyJet remains strong,” said chief executive Johan Lundgren.

“We see a positive outlook for this year with airline and holidays bookings both ahead year on year and recent consumer research highlights that around three quarters of Britons plan to spend more on their holidays versus last year with travel continuing to be the top priority for household discretionary spending.”

The company said the new financial year has started positively with strong profit growth in October and early bookings for the second quarter ahead of last year.

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