Flybe comfortable with 2013 trading

Jim French hailed the 'leaner more focused' Flybe business. Picture: Contributed
Jim French hailed the 'leaner more focused' Flybe business. Picture: Contributed
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Regional airline Flybe today told investors that its underlying losses would be at the lower end of expectations with forward ticket sales slightly up on a year ago.

The carrier, which is run by Scots-born chairman and chief executive Jim French, also pointed to relatively muted revenue growth in the year to the end of March.

In a trading update ahead of June’s results, Flybe said it was taking “significant actions to restore profitability”. The first phase of its previously announced cost reduction plan was “progressing well” it added, delivering savings ahead of the £25m already flagged for the year to March 2014. “The Flybe group has been restructured to create a leaner more focused business, with the number of divisions reduced to two, Flybe UK and Flybe Outsourcing Solutions,” added French.

He said the airline was advancing the second phase of its cost reduction programme “to realise further revenue and cost benefits” from the current financial year onwards.

The company, which ranks as Europe’s largest regional carrier, said in January that it expected year-on-year revenue growth of up to 2 per cent. It recorded total revenue of £615.3 million in 2012.

Costs, including fuel, are estimated to increase by about 2.5 per cent, in line with expectations, Flybe said in its update.

Forward ticket sales revenue for Flybe UK for the 2013 summer flying programme currently shows an increase of 2 per cent over the same period last year, driven by a growth in passengers.