UK-based low-cost carrier (LCC) easyJet reported a net loss of £192 million ($239.1 million) in the first half of its financial year, widened from a net loss of £15 million for the same period last year.

First-half revenue was up 3.2% year-over-year (YOY) at £1.83 billion.

“The first-half loss is in line with market expectations and reflects the movement of Easter into the second half as well as currency effects, which together had an estimated impact of circa £127 million on the bottom line,” easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall said. “EasyJet delivered a resilient performance during the winter months with strong cost control, improving operational performance and within guidance for revenue.”

Capacity increased 8.4% YOY, but was outstripped by 9% growth in 1H passenger numbers to a record 33.8 million, up from 31 million a year ago. The 1H load factor was also a record at 90.2%, compared to 89.7% in the 1H of the previous financial year.

The London Luton-based carrier said forward bookings were ahead of last year, at 77% for 3Q and 55% for 2H.

“Looking ahead, we are seeing improving revenue per seat trend as well as the continued reduction of competitor capacity growth,” McCall said. “Cost performance for the full year will continue to be strong. EasyJet is delivering on its strategy of purposeful investment in securing and building strong positions at Europe’s leading airports, which is driving competitive advantage with sustainable returns. As a result, our expectations for the full year are in line with current consensus market expectations,” she added.

Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), easyJet said it remains on track to achieve a European air operator’s certificate by the summer, which would secure future operations within the EU.

Alan Dron