Revenue And Passenger Numbers Soar At easyJet plc

The shares of easyJet (LSE: EZJ) lost at 27p from 1743p following a lukewarm reaction to the airline announcing an increase in passenger numbers.

The FTSE 100 member confirmed that there was a 4% increase in passengers carried between October-December to 14 million.

The airline, which has a fleet of over 200 Airbus aircraft, also reported a 3.4% revenue increase to £56 per seat. This growth was driven by a good performance in the allocation of seating as well as the management of fees and charges.

easyJet added that cost per seat (excluding fuel) rose by 3%. The driver for this was an anticipated increase in charges at regulated airports, as well as the cost of maintaining its ageing fleet of aircraft.

Carolyn McCall, easyJet’s chief executive, had the following to say on the results:

“easyJet has made a good start to the year.  We have delivered revenue per seat growth in the quarter against a challenging competitive environment and the tough comparison with the prior year. 

 “Our strategy of offering our customers low fares to great destinations with friendly service and a focus on cost control ensures that we can continue to deliver sustainable growth and returns for our shareholders.”

Prior to today City experts were expecting easyJet’s upcoming annual results to show earnings equivalent to 113p per share and a dividend equivalent to 33.5p.

Following this morning’s slight price movement the shares may trade on a P/E of 15 and offer a possible income of 2%.

Whether the combination of those ratings, today’s results guidance, and the wider prospects for the air travel sector result in a decision to ‘buy’ is your own discretion.

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> Mark does not own any shares mentioned in this article.