Business

Easyjet raises profit forecast on fall in oil price and euro

easyJet plane Image copyright PA

Easyjet has raised its profit forecast because of the weakening euro and lower oil price.

Previous guidance that it would make a pre-tax loss of £10m to £30m for the six months to 31 March had been revised, the carrier said.

In a trading update, Easyjet said the range was now between a loss of £5m and profit of £10m.

Airlines often make a loss over the winter period, because they have fewer passengers at that time.

For the same six months a year earlier, Easyjet reported a £53m loss.

Easyjet's chief executive, Carolyn McCall, said the airline was benefiting from lower oil prices. "We continue to expect that lower fuel costs will be beneficial for our customers as fares adjust," she said.

Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said the profit upgrade confirmed that Easyjet had been good for both investors and customers.

"The group's ability to generate cash in a traditionally difficult sector is largely due to its skill in fine-tuning the business," he said.

EasyJet also maintained its forecast to grow capacity by 5% over the current financial year. That comes despite renewed competition from its Irish rival Ryanair, which has announced changes to improve its customer service and started adding more services to its route network.

Easyjet is due to publish its first-half results on 12 May.

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