Easyjet revenues soar, Heathrow goes back to black

Shares in Easyjet dropped in late night trading yesterday, but the airline has surpassed expectations.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 26 Nov 2013

Poor Easyjet. Last night, shares in the airline fell by 51p as analysts speculated the heat wave in the UK would have kept passengers at home.

But the airline this morning surpassed expectations, posting second quarter results showing revenue rose 10.5% to £1.1bn. That, reckons Easyjet, will push full-year profits to £450m-£480 - ahead of analysts' £433m figure. Take that, naysayers.

Revenue per seat (a vital measure in the airline business) grew by 6.1% to £61.44, said the airline, driven by its 'Europe by Easyjet' campaign.

It also said it had 'secured its new framework arrangements for new aircraft through to 2022 to allow it to continue to execute its strategy' - which presumably means battles between its founder and main shareholder, Sir Stelios Haji-Iouannou and chief exec Carolyn McCall, have either been resolved or put off to a later date.

Share price was up more than 7% this morning to £14.33 - not bad going for McCall, who has seen prices rise from £4.32 since she took over in July 2010.

It was a similar story at Heathrow airport, where revenues for the six months to the end of June also (weirdly) rose to £1.1bn, up 9.2% on last year.

Pre-tax profits rose to £186m, up from a £51m loss last year. Clearly, it's seen an opportunity, submitting a request for an extra £3bn of investment from the Civil Aviation Authority.

The airport is, lest we forget, currently fending off competition from Boris Island (and, latterly, Gatwick) for its crown as the South East's main hub airport - and an extra £3bn of investment will help make it look stronger than its rivals.

Chief executive Colin Matthews took the opportunity to make its case again: 'A third runway at Heathrow is the fastest, most cost effective and most practical route to meeting the UK's international connectivity needs. A third runway could increase Heathrow's capacity to 740,000 flights and 130 million passengers per year,' he said.

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