easyJet’s leading European network continued to drive passenger growth in the three months ending 30 September.
Passenger numbers for the three months were a record 22.0 million with a strong load factor of 93.9%.
Passengers have benefitted from the low fares across our network with revenue per seat at constant currency decreasing by 8.7% during the quarter compared to this same period in 2015.
easyJet has performed strongly in a difficult operating environment for all European airlines and in the three-month period has been affected by major disruption, exchange rate fluctuations impacting holiday travel costs, the impact on demand from terrorist events and the low cost of fuel continuing to drive increased market capacity.
easyJet has grown capacity by 6.1% in the quarter compared to prior year, continuing to deliver its strategy of enhanced long-term competitive advantage through building leading positions at key airports in its core summer beach routes and its European City network.
Cost per seat excluding fuel at constant currency is expected to decrease by 1.1% for the full year, slightly better than previous guidance. Cost per seat at constant currency including fuel is expected to decrease by 4.6%. easyJet remains very focused on cost and has continued to drive structural improvements, such as in maintenance and overhead costs.
Significant exchange rate movements since the EU referendum result have had a net adverse impact on the Company. Foreign exchange rate movements are now expected to have around a £90 million adverse impact compared to the financial year to 30 September 2015, an increase of £35 million since 23 June.
easyJet’s unit fuel bill for the second half of the financial year is expected to decrease by between £75 million and £80 million compared to the six months to 30 September 2015.
easyJet’s full year profit before tax is expected to be the range of £490 million to £495 million for the year to 30 September 2016. The effective tax rate for financial year 2016 will be low double digits, primarily due to the non-cash benefit arising from the recognition of deferred tax liabilities at the recently enacted 17% tax rate, which will have a beneficial impact on earnings per share. easyJet remains committed to declaring a full year dividend based on a payout ratio of 50% of post-tax income.