‘We are ready for Brexit,’ says easyJet, as profits soar to £578m

Carrier, which flies to 32 destinations out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport, said bookings for summer 2019 were already slightly ahead than at the same point last year. Tony McDonough reports

LJLA, easyJet
An easyJet aircraft at Liverpool John Lennon Airport. Picture by Tony McDonough

 

Budget airline easyJet says uncertainty over Brexit has not deterred people from booking their holidays with summer 2019 bookings already ahead of where they were at this point last year.

The carrier, which flies to 32 destinations out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport, on Tuesday revealed soaring pre-tax profits for the year to September 30 of £578m – up 41.4% on 2017 from total revenues of £5.9bn.

It flew a record 88.5m passengers during the 12-month period – up 10.2% – with a record load factor (percentage of seats filled) coming in at 92.9%. Revenue-per-seat was up 6.4% to £61.94.

Liverpool Airport sees 5% rise in passengers during October – click to read more

Easyjet’s figures would have been even better had it not been for losses incurred on the Berlin Tegel division of Air Berlin which it acquired a year ago for 40m euros. The pre-tax loss of £112m was better than expected, the company said.

The business said it had spent a significant time preparing for all possible Brexit scenarios adding that, at 47%, it was close to meeting post-Brexit rules for majority EU ownership and had spent £7m pounds on changes related to a new airline operator certificate.

The airline has continued to add routes to countries such as Turkey, Sicily and Croatia out of Liverpool and earlier this year based it eight aircraft at the airport. A new route to Toulouse in France took off on October 28.

Chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “easyJet has delivered a great performance during the year.  The integration of new operations at Tegel has also progressed well and our brand consideration in Berlin has grown strongly. 

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

“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.”

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