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Easyjet has upgraded its profits forecast for the year after enjoying a strong summer and continuing to make inroads into the corporate travel market.
The no-frills expects to make a pre-tax profit of between £470 million and £480 million for the year to the end of September.
Previously Easyjet was forecasting a profit in the range of £450 million to £480 million. Last year, the company made a pre-tax profit of £317 million.
The airline’s traffic in September rose 4.8 per cent to 5.7 million compared to the same month in 2012 – for the last 12 months passenger numbers rose by 4 per cent to 60.8 million.
Easyjet’s success is in contrast to arch-rival Ryanair which last month issued a mild profit warning - although Ryanair is still expected to make a profit of around €570 million for the year.
Strong summer sales helped Easyjet’s revenue per seat to rise by 6 per cent during the three months to the end of September. The airline also benefited from “minimal” disruptions to its services during the quarter.
Easyjet’s chief executive Carolyn McCall (pictured) said: “Easyjet has delivered a strong performance in the last twelve months due to management action to generate value to our customers and maintain a tight control of costs combined with an unusually benign capacity environment.
“Easyjet's great network, friendly customer service, cost advantage and strong balance sheet means it will continue to be a structural winner in European short haul aviation and to deliver sustainable returns and growth for shareholders.”
Easyjet will announce its full-year results for 2012/13 on November 19.