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EasyJet posts revenue for Q1 of £997 million

Staff Writer |
EasyJet reported a solid first quarter with revenue, costs and passengers numbers in line with expectations, but the effects of weak sterling and fuel prices was worse than it expected.

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Passenger numbers rose 8.2% to 17.4m for the quarter ended 31 December 2016, compared to the previous year, driven by an 8.6% growth in capacity to 19.3m seats, while the load factor fell by 0.3 percentage points to 90%.

Revenue climbed 7.2% to £997m reflecting the increase in passengers, but revenue per seat fell 8.2% at constant currency or by 1.2% on a reported basis, to £51.64 per seat. Non-seat revenue rose 19%.

The airline said that revenue per seat trends improved "slightly more" than previously guided due to its network, fares and demand across European markets, despite competitor capacity increases within EasyJet's markets, as well as the impact from the Berlin Christmas market attack.

Chief executive Carolyn McCall, said weak sterling and the impact of fuel combined were £35m worse than previously expected, but EasyJet has made progress in reducing costs in those areas where it has more control such as engineering, maintenance, non-regulated airports and overheads.

During the quarter the airline made £14m in cost savings, through engineering and maintenance, volume-related airport savings and the benefits of ongoing fleet up-gauging, which offset inflationary cost pressure as well as increasing EU 261 claim rates.

Cost per seat, including fuel, grew 2.1% at constant currency, due to low fuel prices and cost control, while cost per seat, excluding fuel, at constant currency increased 1.1%, in line with expectations.

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