Shares in easyJet (LON:EZJ) have advanced in London this morning as the low-cost carrier updated the market on its interim performance, unveiling that its half-year losses narrowed, with the group benefitting from the industry turbulence, which hit Monarch, Air Berlin and Alitalia. The airline’s new chief executive Johan Lundgren further updated investors on the group’s strategy.
As of 09:37 BST, easyJet’s share price had added 3.08 percent to 1,736.85p. The shares are outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.03 percent higher at 7,713.31p, pegged back by a fall in heavyweight Vodafone (LON:VOD) which announced a change at the top this morning.
easyJet’s losses narrow
easyJet announced in a statement this morning that its headline loss before tax had narrowed to £18 million in the six months ended March 31, from £212 million in the prior-year period. The budget carrier’s total revenue came in 19.5 percent higher at £2.18 billion, while passenger numbers increased by three million to 36.8 million.
The company attributed the improved performance to positive trading environment, the timing of Easter, as well capacity reductions by other airlines in easyJet markets. The airline’s capacity increased by 7.8 percent as the group grew its existing network by 4.6 percent.
CEO updates on strategy
Going forward, easyJet expects its headline profit before tax for the financial year to September 30 to come in between £530 million and £580 million. The group’s chief executive Johan Lundgren, who took over from Carolyn McCall earlier this year, further updated investors on the airline’s strategy, announcing an increase in investment in easyJet Holidays to gain a greater share of that market, and unveiling plans to introduce a new loyalty programme.