EasyJet sees profits take flight as bookings soar

The low-cost airline delivered strong profit growth and record passenger numbers in its full year results despite massive headwinds that threaten to take weaker rivals out of the skies.

easyJet left its rivals standing still after the low-cost airline posted pre-tax profit of £578 million in its full year results, up £170 million, representing a 41.1% increase compare with last year.

The carrier owes its successful set of results to its record breaking bookings, with the company helping 88.5 million passengers take to the skies, up 10.2% on last year.

‘easyJet has delivered a great performance during the year, growing headline profit before tax by 41 per cent, once again flying a record number of passengers at our highest ever annual load factor,’ easyJet CEO John Lundgren said.

‘We have made considerable progress on our new initiatives in holidays, business and loyalty, which will enable us to grow profitably.’

‘Our financial success and increasing customer loyalty demonstrate the resilience of our operations, the underlying strength of our business and our unrivalled customer experience,’ he added.

Air Berlin acquisition pays off

easyJet acquired Air Berlin’s operations at the capital’s Tegal airport late-last year in a deal valued at around €40 million that saw the low-cost airline take on an additional 25 aircraft.

Since then, the new operations have been integrated successfully, giving the airline a leading position in Germany – Europe’s third largest market.

‘The integration of new operations at Tegel has also progressed well and our brand consideration in Berlin has grown strongly,’ Lundgren said.

easyJet flies past weaker rivals

After a strong 2018, the airline reiterated its confidence as it looks ahead to next year, with it well-positioned to deliver value for its shareholders reflected in its announcement of a 43% increase in its proposed dividend.

Unlike many of its rivals, the airline has stood strong against a myriad of headwinds. This year, saw the industry struggling to deal with rising fuel prices, air traffic control strikes that led to thousands of cancelled flights and the uncertainty of Brexit.

‘While disruption continues to be a major challenge for the industry, we are investing in resilience to help to mitigate the impact on our customers,’ Lundgren said. ‘Forward bookings are solid, with 50% of seats sold in the first half, in line with the prior year.’

‘We are confident in our positioning for the future and are focused on driving future returns, positive free cash flow over the longer term and maximising our headline profit per seat as we continue to deliver value for our customers and shareholders,’ he added.

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