Easyjet has reported a pre-tax headline profit of £408 million in the year to September 30, down 17.3 per cent year on year in the face of a ‘difficult year’, according to outgoing CEO Carolyn McCall.
The low-cost airline saw a record number of passengers at 80.2 million, up 9.7 per cent year on year, as well as capacity growth of 8.5 per cent over 2016. While total revenue was up 8.1 per cent, the carrier says it was hit by unfavourable currency movement from foreign exchange, which it says cost £101 million.
Following its €40 million acquisition agreement for part of Air Berlin in October, Easyjet says it expects the purchase to be finalised in December. The carrier forecasts headline losses of £60 million in the 2018 financial year as it takes on lease agreements on up to 25 aircraft, as well as up to 1,000 former Air Berlin staff. It predicts headline costs associated with the acquisition to be around £100 million in 2018, but expects to make earnings by 2019.
CEO Carolyn McCall said: “Easyjet’s model is resilient and sustainable and we now have a huge amount of positive momentum which will enable the airline to continue to grow profitably.”
She went on to thank Easyjet staff for their support as she prepares to depart for ITV. Incoming chief executive Johan Lundgren will join on December 1 from his previous role as deputy CEO at TUI.
Easyjet is optimistic for 2018, planning to grow capacity by 6 per cent, not including prospective Air Berlin capacity. It says forward bookings are ahead of last year at 88 per cent for the first quarter and 26 per cent for the second. The carrier also believes revenue trends are encouraging, driven by “capacity leaving the market”, and that cost per seat will decrease by 2 per cent for the year to September 30, 2018.