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easyJet PLC  -  EZJ   

Q3 Trading Statement

Released 07:00 18-Jul-2018

RNS Number : 9482U
easyJet PLC
18 July 2018
 

EASYJET TRADING STATEMENT FOR THE QUARTER ENDED - 30 JUNE 2018

 

easyJet delivers a strong trading performance in the third quarter.

Full Year Headline profit before tax guidance increased to £550m to £590m

 

Summary

easyJet has delivered a strong performance in the third quarter with robust customer demand driving outperformance in our passenger and ancillary revenue growth. Disruption across Europe continues to be an industry wide issue and is having an impact on revenue, cost and operational performance, with the main drivers being European industrial action and air traffic restrictions. Despite this increase in disruption easyJet has increased its headline profit before tax guidance for Financial Year 2018 to between £550 million and £590 million.

 

Revenue

Total revenue in the third quarter to 30 June 2018 increased by 14.0% to £1.6 billion and ancillary revenue increased by 21.1% to £328 million.

 

Passenger1 numbers in the third quarter increased by 9.3% to 24.4 million, driven by an increase in capacity2 of 8.9% to 26.2 million seats which was lower than originally planned due to disruption. Load factor3 increased by 0.3 percentage points to 93.4%.

 

Total revenue per seat excluding Tegel operations increased by 4.8% at constant currency. This performance has been driven by:

 

-       A benign competitor environment, with unfilled Monarch capacity and challenges for competitors in France

-       Continued positive underlying trading enhanced by a particularly strong May due to the timing of public holidays

-       An 11.5% increase in ancillary revenue per seat at constant currency with greater conversion and attachment rates from improved website functionality. More customers are choosing allocated seating and adding bags, helped by attractive pricing and product positioning with the 15kg/23kg split offer

-       Offset by a c.£40 million negative impact of Easter moving partially into the first half of the year

easyJet now expects H2 revenue per seat at constant currency to increase by low to mid-single digits. Current data shows that uptake by competitors of overlapping Monarch capacity continues to be lower than expected into Q4, however, some impact on late yields may be expected from continued warm weather. 

 

Operations

Operational performance for the quarter has been significantly impacted by external factors, in particular the regular and sustained ATC industrial action in France as well as the impact of severe weather. easyJet experienced 2,606 cancelled flights in the period (compared to 314 in Q3 2017) of which the significant majority were due to industrial action, ATC restrictions or severe weather. easyJet is continuing to invest in its resilience programme to improve its On Time Performance (OTP) and reduce cost, through initiatives in ground handling such as DHL, data-driven initiatives such as predictive maintenance, and scheduling improvements.

 

As a result of the disruption, OTP was 73% in Q3 and 78% for the year to 30 June 2018 (vs 78% and 79% respectively in 2017).

 

Cost (excluding Tegel)

easyJet's underlying cost performance has been solid. Headline cost per seat excluding fuel at constant currency increased by 4.0% in the quarter, higher than expected, reflecting:

 

-       Increased disruption costs in the quarter, up circa £25 million against Q3 last year

-       The accrual of expected employee incentive payments due to our strong financial performance, as guided at the first half results

-       Costs relating to increased loads, crew costs and underlying inflation

 

easyJet's cost programme has delivered savings in particular in airport costs, driven by discounts on additional passenger volumes, and fleet up-gauging. Total cost programme savings in the financial year to date are £85 million.

 

Mainly as a result of the increased disruption in Q3 easyJet now expects full year cost per seat excluding fuel at constant currency to increase by circa 3%.

 

Berlin Tegel

In this start-up phase easyJet continues to prioritise its operational delivery and build its market presence. Load factors are continuing to increase, are now consistently above 80% and have reached 86% for June, reflecting strong brand traction in Berlin.

Revenue per seat is weaker than previously guided due to recent additional capacity in the Berlin market, which easyJet has been less able to counteract due to prioritising the protection of the slot portfolio and operating an inherited inefficient schedule for the peak summer season. As a result, headline losses for Tegel operations for the year are expected to be circa £125 million for the full year, compared to previous guidance of up to £95 million.

Despite this, easyJet is progressing well with its integration activity at Tegel and now expects to incur £50 million during the year in non-headline costs. This is lower than previous guidance of £60 million, as the fleet has transitioned into operations earlier than expected. At 30 June 10 easyJet aircraft were operating alongside wet leased fleet and easyJet now has 441 Tegel based pilots and cabin crew.

easyJet's total loss for Tegel operations this year is therefore expected to be £175 million (£160m estimated on acquisition), reflecting the revenue environment.

easyJet is committed to capitalising on the strategic opportunity in the Berlin market and targets to reach a break even position in Financial Year 2019 as it optimises its schedule over the next 18-24 months.

 

Outlook

For the year ending 30 September 2018, excluding Tegel operations, easyJet expects:

-       Full Year capacity to grow by c.4.5%

-       H2 revenue per seat at constant currency to increase by low to mid-single digits

-       Full Year headline cost per seat excluding fuel at constant currency to increase by circa 3% assuming normal levels of disruption in Q4

-       Full Year unit fuel bill is likely to be £60 million to £70 million favourable. The total fuel bill is expected to be c.£1.12 billion

-       Foreign exchange4 movements will have a c.£20 million positive impact on headline profit before tax

Tegel operations are expected to deliver a Full Year headline loss before tax of circa £125 million and non-headline loss before tax of around £50 million.

Headline profit before tax for the 12 months to 30 September 2018, including the Tegel headline loss, is expected to be between £550 million and £590 million, up from previous guidance of £530 million to £580 million.

  

Commenting; Johan Lundgren, easyJet Chief Executive said:

 

"easyJet has delivered a strong performance during our third quarter driven by robust customer demand. The airline continues to go from strength to strength attracting more than 24 million customers in the period who chose to fly with us for our leading network of top European destinations, low fares and outstanding service.

 

We have also seen the continued growth in ancillary revenues, mainly due to more passengers choosing to buy allocated seating and hold bags.

 

With easyJet on track for a positive summer trading period during the fourth quarter, we are raising our guidance for full year headline profit before tax for financial year 2018 to between £550 million and £590 million."

 

 

KEY Q3 FINANCIALS (Excluding Tegel operation)

 

Three months ended

30 Jun 2018

30 Jun 2017

Change

Fav./(adv.)

 

 

 

 

Passengers (million) 1

23.1

22.3

3.6%

Seats flown (million)

24.6

24.0

2.5%

Load factor (%) 3

94.0

93.1

0.9ppts

 

 

 

 

Total revenue (£ million)

1,517

1,387

9.4%

Passenger revenue (£ million)

1,202

1,117

7.7%

Ancillary revenue (£ million)

315

271

16.3%

 

 

 

 

Total revenue per seat reported (£)  

61.62

57.78

6.6%

Total revenue per seat constant currency (£)

60.55

57.78

4.8%

Total revenue per passenger reported (£)

65.54

62.07

5.6%

 

 

 

 

Total headline cost per seat reported (£)

(54.78)

(52.36)

(4.6)%

Total headline cost per seat at constant currency (£)

(54.00)

(52.36)

(3.1)%

Headline cost per seat excluding fuel at constant currency (£)

(42.14)

(40.49)

(4.0)%

 

 

 

 

Average number of aircraft5

298

269

10.6%

Average operating aircraft5

278

258

7.5%

Average utilisation owned aircraft (hours per day)5

11.1

11.4

(2.9)%

Average utilisation operating aircraft (hours per day) 5

11.9

11.9

(0.1)%

ASKs (million)

27,717

26,850

3.2%

RPKs (million)

26,347

25,282

4.2%

Average sector length (km)

1,126

1,118

0.7%

 

 

For further details please contact easyJet plc:

 

Institutional investors and analysts:

Stuart Morgan                                                                            +44 (0) 7989 665 484

Michael Barker                                                                           +44 (0) 7985 890 939

 

Media:                         

Anna Knowles                                                                            +44 (0) 7985 873 313

 

 

Conference call details

 

Time: 7.45am BST

Standard International Access: +44 (0) 20 3003 2666      

UK Toll Free: 0808 109 0700       

Password: easyJet

 

Notes:

 

1.   Represents the number of earned seats flown. Earned seats include seats that are flown whether or not the passenger turns up as easyJet is a no-refund airline, and once a flight has departed a no-show customer is generally not entitled to change flights or seek a refund. Earned seats also include seats provided for promotional purposes and to staff for business travel.

                                                                                                                          

2.   Capacity based on actual number of seats flown.

 

3.   Represents the number of passengers as a proportion of the number of seats available for passengers. No weighting of the load factor is carried out to recognise the effect of varying flight (or "sector") lengths.

 

4.   US $ to £ sterling 1.35, Euro to £ sterling 1.13.

 

5.   Based on Total easyJet fleet

 

A copy of this Trading Statement is available at http://corporate.easyjet.com/investors.


This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.
 
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Q3 Trading Statement - RNS