EasyJet lifts profit forecast after rivals start to pull out of routes

  • @lucytobin

EasyJet flew still higher today with shares up almost 8 per cent as struggling competitors pulling out of routes helped the budget carrier put out a stronger-than-expected profit forecast for this year.

Most City analysts had pencilled in about £433 million pre-tax profit for the 12 months to October. But easyJet now says it expects the figure to be between £450 million and £480 million, assuming no ash clouds or other significant disruption hits the industry.

And chief executive Carolyn McCall pointed out that almost three quarters, or 73 per cent, of seats had been booked for the second half of the carrier’s fiscal year, a stark contrast to analyst warnings that Britain’s heatwave could be bad news for easyJet.

Andrew Lobbenberg at HSBC said: “we think demand for holiday flights will be melting as fast the ice creams on Clacton beach in the current heatwave.”

In the third quarter to July, the orange airline saw revenues rise 10.5 per cent to £1.1 billion. The shares in the now-FTSE 100-listed airline shot up 96p, to 1432p, up 87 per cent on the year, where they started at  just 765.5p.