Stansted: easyJet profits to come in at top end of forecasts
- Credit: Archant
Budget airline easyJet delivered more profit cheer today as it hailed a strong summer for bookings despite Britain basking in one of its longest heatwaves for years.
The Luton-based carrier, which is also a major operator out of Stansted, said demand had remained strong in July’s hot weather and throughout August, with figures also 4.8% ahead in September.
EasyJet added that profits for the year to September 30 were now set to be at the top end of City expectations, having already lifted guidance in July when it defied concerns about the impact of the heatwave.
The group now expects annual profits of £470million to £480m against £317m a year earlier, with revenues per seat expected to grow by around 6%, despite an expected £10m impact from adverse currency movements.
The update contrasts with Dublin-based rival Ryanair which warned over profits last month, saying it was being hit by pressure on fares from increased competition and Europe’s continued economic problems.
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EasyJet was recently given the green light to modernise its fleet after shareholders backed plans to order up to 235 new aircraft, in spite of objections from founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
It will upgrade and expand its fleet by acquiring 135 Airbus planes over the next nine years. There is also an option to buy a further 100 Airbus planes as part of the deal.
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The purchase is expected to allow easyJet to boost passenger numbers from the current level of just over 60 million a year to around 90 million.
: : Heathrow Airport today warned that new price controls could have “serious and far-reaching consequences”.
Under Civil Aviation Autho-rity (CAA) plans, Heathrow’s charges would be pegged to RPI inflation for five years while Gatwick would be allowed to raise charges by RPI plus 0.5% over a seven-year period.
Gatwick bosses gave the proposals “a cautious welcome” but Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said the plans threatened Heathrow’s competitive position and the attractiveness of the UK for investment.
CAA proposals on a charging regime for Stansted for 2014-19 are expected next week, with a final ruling on all three airports due in January.