EasyJet trims winter loss forecast as sales rise

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Low-cost airline EasyJet gave extra thrust to its shares yesterday by revealing that it is set for a smaller-than-expected loss this winter.

The carrier has benefited from improved revenue trends and benign weather, which reduced levels of de-icing and disruption.

It now expects losses of between £55 million and £65m in the six months to 31 March, compared with guidance in January of £70m to £90m and losses of £61m a year ago.

Shares, which have more than doubled since the start of 2013, gained a further 3.7 per cent to close at 1,692p. Carolyn McCall, the chief executive, said the performance showed the firm’s structural advantage in the European short-haul market against both established carriers and low-cost competition.

She added: “Our strategy of offering customers low fares to great destinations with friendly service and a focus on cost control ensures we can continue to deliver sustainable growth and returns for our shareholders.”

Profits in the last financial year to 30 September jumped 51 per cent to £478m. Efforts to attract more business travellers saw it fly more than 60 million passengers for the first time.