EasyJet to see annual profits take off as focus shifts to guidance


EasyJet is to reveal annual profits surging by up to 42% on Tuesday with the low budget airline brushing off strike action and gaining from the troubles beset by rivals.

The focus for the new financial year however will be on guidance rather than earnings.

The carrier recently said it expects full-year pre-tax profit to be between £570 million and £580 million, on revenue of around £5.9 billion.

It comes despite strike chaos that caused easyJet to cancel thousands of flights over the summer as a result of air traffic control industrial action in France and Italy.

Numis forecasts easyJet to report a profit of £575 million against a profit of £408 million the previous year, on revenue of £5.05 billion.

EasyJet also expects to book a £115 million loss from its operations at Berlin Tegel Airport in Germany.

But Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, said easyJet’s shares have had a torrid time lately,  due to industrial action in France and recent downbeat comments about fiscal 2019.

(PA Graphics)

EasyJet shares have fallen by more than a third (34%) over the past six months.

In September, easyJet indicated revenue per seat for the first half of 2018-19 will decrease by low to mid-single digits on a constant currency basis after 2017-18 saw it benefit from the bankruptcies of Monarch and Air Berlin, as well as the grounding of Ryanair aircraft.

Mr Spooner said in easyJet’s full-year results, investors will also be looking out for comments on fuel costs and the company’s recent expression of interest in troubled Italian airline Alitalia.

Last month, the company submitted a revised bid in response to the new Italian government’s sales process for Alitalia, which was placed into special administration last year.

EasyJet is also considering making a bid for rival Flybe, which recently put itself up for sale, according to the Financial Times.

The company guided to a 2018-19 fuel bill of around £1.48 billion, based on a fuel spot price range of 700 US dollars to 760 US dollars (£546 to £593) per metric tonne.

Numis analyst Kathryn Leonard said with spot prices now below this range, she expects the company’s guidance to be maintained or lowered.