Dow Jones Newswires: EasyJet 2019 profit falls, but forward bookings rise

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EasyJet PLC said Tuesday that pretax profit for fiscal 2019 fell 3.4% and forward bookings for the first half of fiscal 2020 are slightly ahead of last year.

The U.K. budget airline EZJ, -1.96%  said that for the year ended Sept. 30 its pretax profit was 430 million pounds ($556.7 million) compared with GBP445 million for fiscal 2018. The company said total revenue per seat decreased by 1.8% to GBP60.81 driven by weakness in consumer confidence.

Adjusted pretax profit — a key measure for the airline which strips out exceptional and other one-off items — fell to GBP427 million, from GBP578 million the prior year.

EasyJet’s revenue was GBP6.39 billion, compared with GBP5.90 billion in 2018.

Total passengers rose 8.6% to 96.1 million, and the airline said its load factor was 91.5% compared with 92.9% the year before.

The board declared a dividend of 43.9 pence a share, compared with 58.6 pence the year before.

The airline said easyJet holidays will launch in the U.K. before Christmas and is expected to be at least breakeven for fiscal 2020.

The company said that for fiscal 2020 its expected capacity growth will be at the lower end of historic guidance of between 3% and 8% per year.

EasyJet said it expects adjusted pretax profit for fiscal 2020 to be toward the top end of guidance. In October the airline said it expects 2020 adjusted pretax profit to be between GBP420 million to GBP430 million.

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