Airline hit by fuel prices
easyJet today (November 17) reported a pre-tax underlying profit of £43.7m for the year ending in September, a drop of 64.5% on the figure for last year.
Europe's second largest low cost carrier said revenue rose in the 12 months by 12.9% from £2,363m in 2008 to £2,667m this year.
But the carrier said it had been hit by fuel prices which rose by £86.1m, the equivalent to £1.63 per seat.
During the year, easyJet said its passenger numbers rose by 3.4% to 45.2m and its load factor edged up by 1.4% to 85.5%.
Despite removing 19 "expensive" aircraft from its fleet, easyJet said its operating costs per seat went up 3.9%, although this figure excluded fuel prices and currency movements.
Andy Harrison, easyJet's ceo, said: "This is an extremely resilient performance making easyJet the best performing European airline based on our robust yields.
"We see a tough winter ahead. We are focussing our efforts on further cost savings and efficiency improvements together with optimising route profitability and aircraft allocation.
"We shall also benefit as our fuel hedges adjust to market prices.
"Putting all this together, at current fuel prices and exchange rates, we expect easyJet to make substantial profit improvement in 2010."
The airline said that at current fuel prices and exchange rates, it expected to add £100m to its pre-tax results for 2010.
This included revenue from an expected 10% increase in capacity.