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EasyJet reports a 51% increase in full-year profit and a 17.4% return on capital

EasyJet (easyJet.com) (London-Luton) reported a 51 percent increase in full-year profits and a 17.4 percent return on capital. The airline issued the following financial statement for the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2013:

51% rise in full year profits; 17.4% return on capital employed

2013 2012 Change
Total revenue (£ million) 4,258 3,854 +10.5%
Profit before tax (£ million) 478 317 +50.9%
Pre-tax margin (%) 11.2% 8.2% +3.0ppt
Basic earnings per share (pence) 101.3 62.5 +62.1%
Proposed dividend – ordinary (pence per share) 33.5 21.5 +55.8%
Proposed dividend – special (pence per share) 44.1
Return on Capital Employed (%) (1) 17.4% 11.3% +6.1ppt

EasyJet has continued to deliver sustainable returns and growth for shareholders delivering record profit in the year. easyJet has built a platform for future success including securing its future fleet requirements with Airbus through to 2022 and beyond.

Strategic progress

Drive demand, conversion and yields across Europe

  • Total revenue per seat grew by 7.0% to £62.58 driven by a benign capacity environment and positive management action including allocated seating, improvements to easyJet.com and the ‘europe by easyJet’ campaign.
  • Seats flown grew by 3.3% to 68.0 million as a result of easyJet’s disciplined approach to capacity, load factors increased by 0.6 percentage points to 89.3% and passenger numbers rose by 4.0% to 60.8 million.

Maintain cost advantage

  • Cost per seat excluding fuel increased 3.9% at constant currency for the full year (5.3% on a reported basis). 2.0 percentage points of the cost increase was driven by increased charges at regulated airports in Spain and Italy and a further 0.8 percentage point relates to increased disruption and de-icing costs. Inflationary pressures were largely offset by the continued success of the easyJet lean programme.

Build strong number 1 and 2 network positions

  • EasyJet has consolidated its presence in key airports with over a 40% share of short haul in key airports such as Gatwick, Milan Malpensa and Basel (2) and has built up its share of French regional flying and grown strongly in Italy.
  • EasyJet announced new base openings in Hamburg and in Naples. This was enabled in part by easyJet’s returns focused decision to close the Madrid base.

Disciplined use of capital

  • EasyJet ended the financial year with £1,237 million of cash, an increase of £354 million against the position at 30 September 2012. easyJet had adjusted net debt of £156 million.
  • The Board is recommending a return to shareholders of £175 million which will be in the form of a special dividend of 44.1 pence a share and is subject to shareholder approval at the Company’s AGM on 13 February 2014. This is in addition to the regular ordinary dividend of £133 million or 33.5 pence a share based on its existing policy of paying out one third of annual profit after tax.
  • Following the acquisition of Flybe’s slots at Gatwick, easyJet exercised the six remaining aircraft options under the current generation Airbus agreement on October 31, 2013 for delivery in spring 2015.

Commenting on the results, Carolyn McCall easyJet Chief Executive said:

“EasyJet has delivered a strong full year performance and made significant progress against executing its strategic priorities. The results reflect EasyJet’s continued structural advantage in the European short-haul market against both the legacy and low cost competition.

Our disciplined approach to capacity allocation has resulted in a meaningful growth in earnings, profit margin and return on capital employed and we have ended the year with a strong balance sheet and a low level of gearing. As evidence of our continued confidence in the future prospects of the business the Board has recommended to return £308 million to shareholders through the combination of an ordinary and special dividend.

We will continue to deliver our strategy of offering our customers low fares to great destinations with friendly service so that we can continue to win in a more competitive market. This means we are well placed to continue to deliver sustainable returns and growth for our shareholders.”

In other news, EasyJet today announced it will launch two new routes to Brussels and Strasbourg from London Gatwick starting on March 30, 2014.

The new flights will operate twice daily to and from Brussels and four times a week to and from Strasbourg departing on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

The two new destinations, along with new routes to Jersey, Paris and Newcastle, are strengthening easyJet’s unrivalled business network from its largest base.

EasyJet will fly around 1.3 million more passengers per year from March 2014 to and from London Gatwick using the recently acquired slots from Flybe with around 300,000 of these passengers expected to be business travellers.

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 G-EZBM (msn 3059) taxies past the camera at Zurich.

EasyJet (UK): AG Slide Show