EasyJet expects to report a pretax loss for the six-month period ended March 31 of between £60 million ($91.8 million) and £65 million. The losses are widened from its previous guidance of between £50 million and £75 million, but halved from pretax losses of £112 million in the year-ago period.
EasyJet CEO Carolyn McCall attributed the year-over-year improvement to disciplined capacity growth and a focus on cost management during the winter period. “We have also benefited from rival airlines taking winter capacity out of the market, the earlier timing of Easter compared to last year and the poor weather across the UK and northern Europe which stimulated strong bookings in the last few weeks of the first half of the financial year,” McCall said.
Revenue per seat was up 8.5% year-over-year, driven in part by stronger than anticipated late bookings in the run up to the Easter holiday. Capacity rose 3.3%, slightly short of the 3.5% earlier forecast, due to bad weather causing a higher-than-expected number of cancellations.
The carrier said the weakening of sterling against the euro, US dollar and Swiss franc will have a £30 million to £35 million adverse impact on the six month-period and will take a £5 million hit from changes in the fuel price.