Budget airline Easyjet (EZJ) dips 0.8% to £13.04 despite raising the lower end of its full-year profit forecast by £20 million.

Pre-tax profit for the 12 months to 30 September will be in the range of £470 to £480 million, compared with the £450 to £480 million guidance offered by the low-cost carrier in July.

When Shares last week previewed the potential good news from today's trading update, we characterised the Luton-based airline as 'one of the few high-fliers in a sector where yields are depressed and capacity is rising.' This belief is borne out by Easyjet's updated full-year outlook for revenue.

The 24 July interim management statement projected a rise of up to 6% in revenues per seat which has now been raised to in excess of 6%. Forecasts for cost per seat excluding fuel remain unchanged at around 4%.

While Deutsche Bank is predicting ‘winter period capacity growth in the European segment to be in the range of 6-7% – levels that we have not seen since winters in 2006 and 2008’, Easyjet has largely bucked this trend with capacity growth holding at 3.3%; well below the sectoral average.

Panmure analyst Gert Zonneveld likes Easyjet for a number of reasons. He says: 'The company has a strong structural cost advantage over most of its competitors, creating a highly attractive value proposition. We expect seat revenues to rise in the coming years, primarily driven by modest capacity growth, maturing routes and bases, a growing proportion of business passengers and a more rigorous route management (driven by return on capital employed). Costs (ex fuel) appear to be under control.'

EasyJet will publish its full-year results on 19 November 2013 and Panmure maintains a £15 price target.

Issue Date: 03 Oct 2013