EasyJet says losses narrow on sales boost

London - British low-cost airline EasyJet slashed its first-half losses as a collapse of rivals boosted passenger numbers, but the performance was weighed down by integration costs from Air Berlin assets.

Losses after tax shrank to £54m in the first half of the group's financial year or six months to March, EasyJet said in a trading update.

That compared with a deeper loss of £192m in the same period of the previous year.

Sales surged by a fifth to £2.2bn as it reaped the benefits from the collapse of European rivals including Alitalia and Monarch, and a flight cancellations crisis at Ireland's Ryanair.

Passenger numbers leapt three million to 36.8 million, helped by extra customers from the purchase of Berlin's Tegel Airport from bankrupt German carrier Air Berlin.

Stripping out Tegel integration costs, EasyJet added that pre-tax profit hit £8.0m in the first half. That contrasted sharply with a loss of £212m last time around.

"EasyJet has delivered an excellent performance reporting a profit of £8.0m, one of our best results ever in the winter trading period," said newly-installed chief executive Johan Lundgren.

"Our performance was helped by the reductions in capacity from other airlines but was also driven by the strength of the easyJet brand," added Lundgren, who took the reins last December from Carolyn McCall.

Lundgren, the former deputy of TUI travel group, added that EasyJet will plough more investment into its holidays business.

Many airlines usually post losses over the period because it covers the winter months, when demand is traditionally weak.

* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
ZAR/USD
15.32
(-0.49)
ZAR/GBP
21.17
(-0.07)
ZAR/EUR
18.28
(-0.12)
ZAR/AUD
11.77
(-0.06)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(-0.09)
Gold
1700.70
(+0.04)
Silver
25.22
(+0.17)
Platinum
1128.01
(+0.31)
Brent Crude
69.67
(+3.93)
Palladium
2329.95
(+0.62)
All Share
68271.19
(+0.78)
Top 40
62788.64
(+0.87)
Financial 15
12759.80
(+0.67)
Industrial 25
87613.31
(-0.32)
Resource 10
70801.78
(+2.36)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, and I've gotten it.
21% - 1064 votes
No, I did not.
52% - 2679 votes
My landlord refused
28% - 1443 votes
Vote