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EasyJet H1 Loss Widens, Revenue Up; Backs FY19 Outlook, In Line With Market View

Low-cost airline easyJet Plc (ESYJY.PK,EZJ.L) reported Friday that its first-half total loss before tax was 272 million pounds, wider than loss of 68 million pounds last year.

Headline loss before tax was 275 million pounds, compared to loss of 18 million pounds a year ago. Headline basic loss per share was 56.1 pence, compared to loss of 3.3 pence a year ago.

Total revenue increased 7.3 percent to 2.34 billion pounds from prior year's 2.18 billion pounds, driven by capacity growth and a foreign exchange benefit. These offset the impact of the move of Easter, the new IFRS 15 accounting standard and the annualisation of prior year benefits such as Monarch's bankruptcy and Ryanair cancelling a large proportion of its winter 2017/8 schedule in the UK.

Total revenue per seat decreased 6.3 percent to 50.71 pounds, with a decrease of 7.4 percent at constant currency.

Passenger numbers for the six months increased 13.3 percent from last year to 41.6 million.

Capacity increased 14.5 percent principally due to annualising of new operations in Berlin. Load factor decreased by 1.0 percentage points to 90.1 percent mainly as a result of building loads in Berlin in the first quarter.

Looking ahead, for fiscal 2019, easyJet's headline profit before tax expectations remain unchanged and in line with market expectations.

Forward bookings for the third quarter are three percentage points behind last year at 72 percent and flat year on year at 34 percent for the fourth quarter.

easyJet's capacity growth in the second half is forecast at about 7 percent

Further ahead, easyJet said it is now targeting to consolidate its stronger positions delivered over the past few years and as a result its capacity growth in fiscal 2020 will likely be at the lower end of its historic growth rates.

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