London: British low-cost airline easyJet said third-quarter revenues grew almost a quarter, helped by an uplift in the number of business travellers flying with the carrier.
The Luton, southern England-based airline on Friday said revenues for the three months to the end of June grew 23.2% to £935 million, boosted by growing passenger and ancillary revenues.
The budget carrier, which last year launched an initiative to lure more corporate passengers, said the number of business travellers flying with easyJet had jumped a fifth during the quarter and that the outlook was positive.
“Against the backdrop of high fuel prices and an uncertain economic environment, the strength of easyJet’s trading demonstrates it is well placed to succeed,” easyJet Chief Executive Carolyn McCall said in a statement.
“We expect at current fuel and exchange rates to deliver a pretax profit for the year ended 30 September of between £200 million and £230 million assuming normal conditions and a return on capital employed for the year of between 10% and 12%.”
The company is expected to report an annual pretax profit of between 160 million pounds and 268 million pounds, with the average at £183.8 million, according to a poll of 23 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
EasyJet said it carried 14.4 million passengers during the quarter, 17.3% more than the same period a year ago. Its load factor - a measure of how well it fills planes - edged up by 0.2%age points to 86.3%. It added that it had already sold around three-quarters of seats for summer flights.
Earlier this month easyJet’s largest shareholder, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, said he wants to force a shareholder vote over the airline’s plans to by new aircraft from Airbus, resuming a long-running dispute with the company he founded.
Shares in easyJet, which have fallen a quarter in 2011, closed at 312.70 pence on Thursday, valuing the business at around £1.3 billion ($2.1 billion).