Low-cost airline easyJet has seen pre-tax profits fall 27.9 per cent to £495 million in the year to September 30th.
However, the figure was in line with a warning given last month, seeing FTSE listed shares in the carrier rise nearly three per cent in early trading. Amid a year of “significant challenges”, easyJet welcome a record 73.1 million passengers, up 6.6 per cent year on year. The carrier also saw a record load factor of 91.6 per cent, 0.1 per cent higher than last year.
Commenting on the results, Carolyn McCall, easyJet chief executive said: “easyJet achieved a resilient performance in 2016, in the face of significant challenges including a series of external events and foreign exchange headwinds.
“Looking ahead, the easyJet model remains strong as does the demand environment and we continue to see opportunities in the medium term to grow revenue, profit and shareholder returns. “In a tougher operating environment strong airlines like easyJet will get stronger and we will build on our already well-established network. “Almost half of our growth next year will be in the UK, with significant growth also in Switzerland, France and Italy.
“Our strategy of strengthening our positions at our key airports will see double digit growth in key bases in London, Manchester, Venice, Berlin and Amsterdam.”
Capacity at easyJet grew by 6.5 per cent in the period to 80 million seats, as easyJet strengthened its leadership positions in selected markets. Total revenue of £4,669 million (a decline of 0.4 per cent) and revenue per seat of £58.46 (a decline of 6.4 per cent) reflected the impact of external events, easyJet said in a statement. easyJet declared a dividend of 53.8 pence per share.