EasyJet raises full-year profit outlook

<p>The budget airline reported a record number of passengers in August.</p>

EasyJet raised its full-year forecast on Wednesday (September 3rd). The UK-based carrier said it saw a record number of passengers in August – almost 7.1 million – as customers looked to get away during the summer holidays.

The low-cost airline is now expecting growth of up to 21 per cent and full-year profit before tax to be between £675 million and 700 million for the year to the end of September. In comparison, its previous guidance was £620 million to £660 million for the period. In 2014, the carrier recorded full-year profit of £581 million.

In a trading update, EasyJet also reported that its planes were 94.4 per cent full over the month of August. Demand, especially for beach holidays, were up during the month due to higher-than average rainfall in the UK and favourable currency exchange rates.

The August results also helped the group recover from challengers earlier in the year – including disruption of its network in April and two fires at Rome's Fiumicino airport.

The statement said: "This strong revenue performance has more than offset the significant cost headwinds that the business has faced this year."

Commenting on the positive results, chief executive Carolyn McCall said: "These figures demonstrate the strength of EasyJet - with its strong customer focus and its unique and winning combination of the best route network connecting Europe's primary airports, with great value fares, friendly service and industry-leading digital innovations."

The company's share price rose more than six per cent in early trading after the results were announced.

Ryanair

EasyJet rival Ryanair has also recently reported record-breaking passenger numbers for August – up 10 per cent compared to the same month last year to 10.4 million. The Irish low-cost carrier attributed its improvement to the roll-out of its "Always getting better" campaign, which aims to improve customer relations across an airline that's been criticised for its poor service in the past.

When announcing the second phase of the campaign in March, chief executive Michael O'Leary said: "If I'd known being nicer to customers was going to work so well, I'd have done it ages ago."

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