Easyjet posts growth in profits

<p>Easyjet has posted substantial growth in its annual pre-tax profits. </p>

Budget airline Easyjet has announced that it has recorded a 21.5 per cent rise in its annual pre-tax profits.

The no-frills airline said profit had risen to £581 million for the 12 months to the end of September, a substantial rise on the £487 million recorded for the previous year.

The firm cited a seven per cent increase in passenger numbers, as well as the acquisition of slots at Gatwick airport from rival airline Flybe.

The latter move allowed the number of available seats on Easyjet flights to grow by 5.1 per cent to 71.5 million, of which almost 91 per cent were filled.

Despite the results, Easyjet saw its shares fall by over two per cent during morning trading in London on Tuesday (November 18th).

Attracting customers was only one part of the success, according to the firm, which added that levels of loyalty had also increased, with 57 per cent of existing customers rebooking each year.

The results saw Easyjet post an ultimately positive outlook for the coming 12 months, although it did claim that costs per seat would increase by around 2.5 per cent due to a rise in airport, navigation and maintenance charges.

However, the firm did say they expected to drive costs down by as much as £22 million over the next six months.

The results will come as a welcome boost to the airline, which has faced a great deal of competition from other airlines such as Air France-KLM and Lufthansa, both of which have rolled out plans to enter the low-cost market.

Both of those firms will likely compete with Ryanair, which is currently the biggest rival to Easyjet and has made improvements to its own customer service.

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