easyJet delivers a good start to the year, in line with expectations
easyJet has delivered a good performance in the quarter with robust customer demand driving passenger and ancillary revenue which is in line with expectations. Underlying revenue per seat was positive, including good ancillary revenue growth. This was offset, as expected, by the impact from last year’s one-off revenue benefits, the dilutive impact of flying at Tegel and new accounting standards delaying the recognition of revenue. easyJet has made good progress with its cost and operational performance but both were affected by the impact of drone activity at London Gatwick over the Christmas period.
Commenting; Johan Lundgren, easyJet Chief Executive said:
“easyJet has made a good start to the 2019 financial year with robust customer demand and ancillary sales, driving solid revenue generation. This was underpinned by good operating and on-time performance across the network, with the exception of the disruption caused by the Gatwick closures due to drone sightings. There has been be a one-off cost impact from this incident, but underlying cost progress is in line with expectations. I am proud of the way our teams worked around the clock to mitigate the impact of the incident and looked after affected customers.
“Recognition of the easyJet brand continues to grow. We made good progress on our strategic initiatives; holidays, business, loyalty and data during the quarter.
“For the first half of 2019, booking levels currently remain encouraging despite the lack of certainty around Brexit for our customers. Second half bookings continue to be ahead of last year and our expectations for the full year headline profit before tax are broadly in line with current market expectations.”
Total revenue in the first quarter to 31 December 2018 increased by 13.7% to £1,296 million. Passenger revenue increased by 12.2% to £1,025 million and ancillary revenue increased by 19.9% to £271 million.
Passenger numbers in the quarter increased by 15.1% to 21.6 million, driven by an increase in capacity2 of 18.2% to 24.1 million seats which was slightly lower than originally planned due in part to the drone issues at London Gatwick and to late A321 deliveries from Airbus.
Load factor3 decreased by two percentage points to 89.7%, as anticipated, due to the oneoff increase in prior year late demand and the dilutive impact of Tegel flying.