Low-cost easyjet reports strong profit growth

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 easyJet reported a 21,5 & profit growth to £581m. Helped by +7 & passenger numbers to 64,8 million passengers.

2014
2013 Change
Total Revenue (£ million) 4,527
4,258 +6.3%
Profit before tax (£ million) 581
478 +21.5%
Pre-tax margin (%) 12.8%
11.2% +1.6ppt
Basic earning per share (pence) 114.5
101.3 +13.0%
Proposed ordinary dividend per share (pence) 45.4
33.5 +35.5%
Return on capital employed (%) (1) 20.5%
17.4% +3.1ppt

Drive demand, conversion and yields across Europe
•    Total revenue per seat increased by 1.2% on a reported basis, and by 1.9% on a constant currency basis to £63.31 in a higher capacity environment.  The growth in revenue per seat was driven in part by a number of digital and revenue management initiatives and a continued focus on capital allocation.  Second half revenue per seat on a constant currency basis grew by 1.9%.
•    Seats flown grew by 5.1% to 71.5 million.
•    Load factors increased by 1.3 percentage points to 90.6% and passenger numbers rose by 6.6% to 64.8 million.

Maintain cost advantage
•    Cost per seat excluding fuel decreased by 1.2% on a reported basis but increased by 0.6% on a constant currency basis to £37.70 driven by increases in charges at regulated airports offset by the continued delivery of easyJet lean initiatives.  Second half cost per seat on a constant currency basis increased by 0.7%.
•    easyJet lean delivered sustainable savings of £32 million in the year of which £18 million were delivered in the second half.
•    CFM selected to supply engines for future deliveries of current and new generation aircraft delivering one-off cost savings.

Build strong number one and two network positions
•    New bases opened at Hamburg and Naples during the year and new bases announced for Amsterdam and Porto.
•    easyJet started flying the former Flybe slots at London Gatwick on 30 March 2014.
•    Options and purchase rights exercised over 35 A320 aircraft to take advantage of profitable growth opportunities.

Disciplined use of capital
•    Return on capital employed grew by 3.1 percentage points to 20.5%.
•    easyJet ended the financial year with £985 million of cash and money market deposits, a decrease of £252 million against the position at 30 September 2013 which reflects the continued cash generation of the business offset by the payment of a £133 million ordinary dividend and a special dividend of £175 million to shareholders in the year, pre-delivery payments for new aircraft and repayment of borrowings.
•    The Board is recommending an increased ordinary dividend to shareholders of £180 million or 45.4 pence a share based on its enhanced ordinary dividend policy of paying out 40% of annual profit after tax.

Commenting on the results, Carolyn McCall easyJet Chief Executive said:
“easyJet has continued to execute its strategy, delivering another strong performance and enabling easyJet to deliver record profits for the fourth year in a row.  We are also proposing to increase the proportion of our profits after tax paid in dividends from one third to 40%, reflecting our confidence in the future of easyJet.

“Our performance demonstrates our continued focus on cost and progress against every strategic revenue priority.  Our people are fully aligned behind our strategy and this gives us strong momentum to continue delivering.

“easyJet has opened up clear blue sky between us and our competitors – both legacy and low cost – with our unique and winning combination of the best route network connecting Europe’s primary airports, with great value fares and friendly service.

“I would like to thank all of our people who have worked so hard to deliver sustainable growth and returns for our shareholders.”

http://www.easyjet.com