EasyJet to confirm winter fillip from rivals’ woes

Full-year profits are expected to come in at the top end of forecasts
Full-year profits are expected to come in at the top end of forecasts

No-frills airline easyJet will confirm a boost from the demise of rivals and recent woes at Ryanair when it reports results on Tuesday, but a £100 million hit from the weak pound will still see profits tumble.

The carrier revealed last month it had enjoyed a record quarter in the three months to September 30 after it was helped in recent weeks by a shambolic showing from rival Ryanair, which has had to cancel hundreds of flights after miscalculating pilot leave.

It said full-year profits were therefore set to come in at the top end of its forecasts, having carried 24.1 million passengers in the quarter.

But in her last set of results, outgoing chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall will confirm the impact the Brexit-hit pound has had on its past year, with profits still set to be as much as 18% lower at between £405 million and £410m.

All of the fall in profits is accounted for by the £100m impact of the pound, but trading has also been hit by a turbulent past two years for the airline sector after a raft of terrorist attacks and a price war amid increased competition.

Ms McCall will at least bow out with an unusually strong update on its winter performance, though, as easyJet benefits from not just Ryanair’s debacle, but also last month’s collapse of Luton-based carrier Monarch, the demise of Air Berlin and Alitalia’s administration.

The group has been able to pounce on up to 25 aircraft from Air Berlin as well as up to 1,000 staff from the group, which will see easyJet become the biggest airline operating out of Berlin and boost its overall size by 10%.