EasyJet returns to profit but warns of Gaza war impact


British no-frills airline EasyJet on Tuesday announced its first annual profit since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic but warned that the Israel-Hamas war will impact its winter results.

Profit after tax stood at £324 million ($409 million) in the 12 months to the end of September on higher demand and increased fares, EasyJet said in a statement.

That compared with a loss after tax of £169 million in its 2021/22 financial year.

EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren gave an upbeat outlook, even if the group saw a negative impact from the Israel-Hamas war.

"We see a positive outlook for this year with airline and holidays bookings both ahead year on year," he said in the statement.

Lundgren said "consumer research highlights that around three quarters of Britons plan to spend more on their holidays versus last year with travel continuing to be the top priority for household discretionary spending".

At the same time EasyJet noted that "early winter results... will see an impact from the conflict in the Middle East".

The airline, which flies mainly across Europe, has paused flights to Israel and Jordan owing to the war.

Looking back at its last financial year, EasyJet said revenue surged 42 percent to £8.2 billion, "predominantly due to pricing strength, increased flown capacity, improved load factors" plus growth of its holidays business.

EasyJet's share price gained 2.1 percent to £4.13 in early London trades following the earnings update.

"Investors are being rewarded for their patience following a bumpy few years with the reinstating of the dividend," noted Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

With travel demand rebounding strongly after the pandemic grounded planes, EasyJet last month announced a deal worth close to $20 billion for 157 Airbus planes and alterations to a previous order with the European planemaker.


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