16 November 2010

EasyJet has announced a near trebling of its annual profits, driven by growing passenger numbers and a lower fuel bill, and said it would pay its first dividend in 2012 whilst continuing to grow. The budget airline’s underlying pre-tax profit rose to £188.3 million from £43.7 million in the year to the end of September 2010, while revenues grew 11.5% to £2.97 billion.

 Fuel costs fell by £122.7 million during the year, while passenger numbers rose 7.9% to 48.8 million, with load factors averaging 87% – up 1.5 percentage points on the previous year. However, it was hit by £97.9 million of costs related to various disruptions during the year, with pre-tax profits of £154 million, compared to £54.7 million last year.

 The airline said it would introduce a dividend payment in years when it was profitable, while ensuring it retained a conservative capital structure. It will pay its first dividend in 2012 for the year ending 30 September 2011. The airline also hopes to add 24 planes to its fleet to take it up to 220 aircraft by September 2013, representing an average annual growth rate of 7% per annum in terms of ‘number of seats flown’.

 The airline’s new CEO, Carolyn McCall, said EasyJet’s solid financial performance in a tough trading environment demonstrates that the business model is strong. EasyJet is strongly positioned to take advantage of the continuing profitable growth opportunities in European short-haul.