EasyJet swings to 6-month loss on terrorism fears
Cost per seat excluding fuel grew by 0.5% and decreased by 4.3% including fuel, on a constant currency basis. Total cost per seat decreased by 5.0% on a reported basis to £51.98.
Constant currency profit before tax of £5 million (H1 2015: £7 million), maintaining broadly flat margins. Adverse foreign exchange impact of £33 million, including £4 million relating to balance sheet revaluations.
The decrease in cost per seat was primarily driven by lower fuel costs. Increased disruption costs mainly due to terrorism events were offset by benefits from fleet up-gauging and easyJet lean initiatives.
New bases opened in Venice and Barcelona. easyJet exited the Fiumicino base ahead of plan, redistributing aircraft to secure better returns. The first seasonal base in Palma de Mallorca will open in Summer 2017.
Sector leading credit ratings secured and successful bond issued in February, raising €500 million. EasyJet ended the first half with cash and money market deposits of £1,057 million, an increase of £81 million year-on-year.
In the six months to March 31, 2016, easyJet returned £219 million or 55.2 pence per share to shareholders via ordinary dividends at a payout ratio of 40% for the year ended 30 September 2015. ■