easyJet June passengers up 28 pct; load factor 86 pct
LONDON (AFX) - easyJet PLC, the Luton-based low-cost airline that issued its second profit warning in less than five weeks early last month, said it carried 2.24 mln passengers in June, an increase of 28 pct on the same month last year.
Load factor -- passengers as a proportion of the number of seats available -- was 86 pct, the same as last year and compared to 81 pct in May.
Ray Webster, chief executive, said the figures were in line with its June 6 statement.
'We continue to capitalise on our market and financial strengths -- last month we began new services to Cologne, announced that we would base a further three new aircraft at Berlin (bringing the total to nine) and added five new routes from London Gatwick.'
easyJet's rolling 12-month revenue to end-June was 1.03 bln stg, up 21 pct, while the rolling 12-month passenger total and load factor was 22.9 mln and 84 pct respectively.
The airline's June 6 update forecast a year to end-September 2004 pretax profit that 'at least' exceeds the 52 mln stg achieved last time -- assuming a slight easing in global oil prices, that sterling remains reasonably strong against the US dollar, and a stable geopolitical environment.
Earlier this week Stelios Haji-Ioannou, easyJet's founder, was linked with a possible move to take it private.
Reports suggested Haji-Ioannou, who stepped down as easyJet chairman in 2002, plans to fund a 650 mln stg bid by selling his family's interest in the Stelmar shipping business, borrowing, or teaming up with a private-equity or venture capital group.
Haji-Ioannou's easyGroup Holdings Ltd vehicle holds 16.6 pct of easyJet's equity. His brother Polys and sister Clelia hold a further 24 pct.
easyJet's shares closed Tuesday at 150 pence, valuing the company at 599.4 mln stg.
showArticle 07/07/04 07:31 easyJet June passengers up 28 pct; load factor 86 pct AFX