EasyJet reported total revenue in the first quarter increased by 14.4% to £1,140m and said it expects revenue per seat to increase by mid-to high-single digits for the first half of the year.
'Total revenue in the first quarter increased by 14.4% to £1,140m reflecting an increase of 1.4m passengers carried through the period, a 6.6% increase in revenue per seat at constant currency, a strong increase in ancillary revenue as well as a benefit from foreign exchange,' EasyJet said in its quarterly statement.
The company reported that the number of passengers carried increased by 8% to 18.8m, driven by a growth in capacity of 5.5% to 20.4m seats and load factor increasing by 2.1% to 92.1%. While ancillary revenue continued to perform well, increasing by 20% to £226.3m from £188.0m in 2017.
'EasyJet delivered a strong start to the financial year with a significant growth in revenue in part driven by an increase in passengers flown and strong growth in inflight and ancillary sales as we offer more and better quality options for our passengers, said Johan Lundgren, EasyJet Chief Executive.
Lundgren said there was a lot to look forward in 2018, highlighting a number of supportive factors including 'the roll out of our full summer schedule at our newly established base at Berlin Tegel, an increase in passenger numbers from 80 million to around 90 million.' The expansion of 'Worldwide by EasyJet' to around half of the airline's network is expected to allow customers to connect to long-haul services, while its fleet will increase to over 300 aircraft by spring 2018 ahead of taking delivery of its first A321neo aircraft.
'Approximately 60% of expected bookings for the second quarter (excluding Air Berlin operations) have now been secured, slightly ahead of the prior year,' EasyJet said in a statement. 'Revenue per seat for the second quarter is expected to increase by mid to high single digits.'
The airline said that good underlying revenue performance in the second quarter is expected to driven by lower market capacity growth as well as the partial benefit of the timing of Easter, but this will have a negative impact on the third quarter.