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easyJet plc Results for the six months ending 31 March 2018

easyJet delivers a strong first half performance and one of its best winters ever; unveils focus areas of investment to drive returns and profit per seat

easyJet plc Results for the six months ending 31 March 2018 featured image
15 / 05 / 2018

Strong first half performance

  • The strength of easyJet’s network and customer proposition helped to deliver strong performance in the first six months of the financial year. This was supported by:
    • A positive trading environment and higher load factors across easyJet routes
    • Capacity reductions by other airlines in easyJet markets
    • The partial movement of Easter into the first half from the second half in 2017
  • Passenger numbers for the six months to 31 March 2018 increased by 3.0 million to 36.8 million, including 0.7 million from easyJet’s new Berlin Tegel operations launched in January
  • Capacity increased by 7.8% as easyJet grew its existing network by 4.6% and added an additional 1.2 million seats at Tegel. Load factor grew by 0.9 percentage points to 91.1% (91.9% excluding Tegel)
  • Total revenue increased by 19.5% to £2,183 million (H1 2017: £1,827 million). Total revenue per seat increased by 10.9% to £54.10 (H1 2017: £48.80), with an increase of 8.3% at constant currency(1). Ex-Tegel flying revenue per seat increased by 12% to £54.64 and by 9.5% at constant currency, at the upper end of previous guidance
  • easyJet’s business model and strategy are underpinned by sector leading balance sheet strength, with a net cash position at 31 March 2018 of £665m (31 March 2017: £353m)
  • Headline cost per seat excluding fuel increased by 2.2% to £43.11 (H1 2017: £42.18), and increased by 1.6% at constant currency (1.3% excluding Tegel), due to increased loads, inflationary costs and the impact of severe weather, offset by £66 million of cost savings
  • Headline profit before tax excluding Tegel was £8 million, a £220 million improvement on H1 2017 (H1 2017 loss £212m). Total headline loss before tax was £18 million, an improvement of £194 million. Total loss before tax of £68 million for the six months ended 31 March 2018 (H1 2017 loss £236m) principally reflecting non-headline costs associated with the one-off integration of Tegel operations and the sale and leaseback of ten A319 aircraft

Investing in the future

  • Following an update of its strategy, easyJet plans to invest in enhancing its propositions in holidays, business passengers, customer loyalty and data. This leverages easyJet’s existing strong business model, network, brand, cost base and data leadership
  • This, combined with easyJet’s rigorous approach to underlying cost control and plans to address increasing disruption cost, is expected to drive significant profit per seat improvement
  • As a result of its disciplined capital allocation and focus on maximising shareholder returns easyJet is also targeting to deliver increasing return on capital employed with a close focus on cash

Outlook

  • easyJet continues to implement its strategy of profitable growth to secure leading positions at primary airports and drive returns over the long term
  • Forward bookings are ahead of last year: at 80% for the third quarter and 57% for the second half
  • easyJet’s ex-Tegel capacity growth in the second half is forecast at circa 5% and revenue per seat at constant currency growth in the second half is expected to be slightly positive, reflecting more disciplined market capacity growth offsetting the negative impact of the partial movement of Easter into the first half
  • Full year headline cost per seat excluding fuel at constant currency (assuming normal levels of disruption in H2) is expected to increase by c.2%. This includes the impact of severe disruption incurred in the first half and expected employee incentive payments due to our strong profit and operational improvement
  • At Tegel we now expect to deliver a combined headline and non-headline impact that is within the £160 million previously guided. Headline loss before tax is expected to increase to between £75 million and £95 million, due to a higher fuel price, additional regulated security and noise tax charges and lower gauge wet lease aircraft than planned, as well as the potential risk of lower revenue from our finalised schedule. One-off non-headline costs are now expected to be significantly better than previously guided at around £60 million due primarily to savings in aircraft lease costs and better execution of crew and fleet transition
  • easyJet currently expects headline profit before tax for the financial year to 30 September 2018, including the impact of the Headline loss from Tegel, to be in the range of £530 million to £580 million
  • Capital expenditure for the financial year to 30 September 2018, including the investment in Tegel, is expected to remain in line with previous guidance at £1.2bn

 

 

  

 

2018

 

2017

 

     Change

Favourable/(adverse)

 

Capacity (millions of seats)

 

40.4

 

37.5

 

7.8

 

%

 

Load factor (%)

 

91.1

 

90.2

 

+0.9

 

ppts

 

Passengers (millions)

 

36.8

 

33.8

 

8.8

 

%

 

Total revenue (£ million)

 

2,183

 

1,827

 

19.5

 

%

 

Headline profit before tax excluding Tegel (£ million)

Headline loss before tax (£ million)

 

8

(18)

 

(212)

(212)

 

£222

£194

 

m

m

 

Total loss before tax (£ million)

 

(68)

 

(236)

 

£168

 

m

 

Headline constant currency loss before tax (£ million)

 

(32)

 

(212)

 

180

 

m

 

Headline basic loss per share (pence)

 

(3.3)

 

(43.8)

 

40.5

 

pence

 

Constant currency revenue per seat (£)

 

52.86

 

48.80

 

8.3

 

%

 

Total headline constant currency cost per seat (£)

 

53.64

 

54.45

 

1.5

 

%

 

 

Commenting on the results, Johan Lundgren, easyJet Chief Executive said:

 ”easyJet has delivered an excellent performance reporting a profit of £8 million, one of our best results ever in the winter trading period (excluding the one-off impact of the start-up of our Tegel operation).  Total revenue was above £2bn for the first time, up almost 20 per cent year on year. This was driven by a record number of passengers at 37 million and our highest ever ancillary sales due to giving passengers more options and lower prices on hold luggage along with our improved inflight bistro.

 

"Our performance was helped by the reductions in capacity from other airlines but was also driven by the strength of the easyJet brand which is now the most considered airline brand in the UK(2), moving ahead of BA for the first time. We also reached the milestone of carrying 13 million business travellers a year - partly supported by the increase in city to city routes as we successfully started operations in Berlin Tegel.

 

"Turning to our strategy, I have today announced an increase in investment in easyJet Holidays to gain a greater share of that market, showcased a series of initiatives to increase the number of passengers travelling on business and revealed plans to introduce a new loyalty programme which will support and reinforce all of these initiatives and will further increase passenger loyalty to easyJet.  I also outlined new investments to harness the power of our data to improve our customer proposition, reduce costs and increase revenue.  All of these initiatives will provide higher profit per seat and higher returns for our shareholders. 

 

"I am also pleased to announce a number of new appointments to the Airline Management Board with a mix of internal promotions and new hires to easyJet. This will give the airline the right balance of skills, experience and diversity to deliver our strategy and take easyJet from strength to strength.”

 

 

For further details please contact easyJet plc: 

 

 

Institutional investors and sell side analysts:

 

Stuart Morgan

 

Investor Relations

 

+44 (0) 7989 665 484

 

Michael Barker

 

Investor Relations

 

+44 (0) 7985 890 939

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media:

 

Anna Knowles

 

Corporate Communications

 

+44 (0) 7985 873 313

 

Dorothy Burwell

 

Finsbury

 

+44 (0) 207 251 3801

 

 

 

 

 

+44 (0) 7733 294 930

 

 

There will be an analyst presentation at 09:30 am GMT on 15 May 2018 at Nomura, One Angel Lane, London, EC4R 3AB

A live webcast of the presentation will be available at www.easyJet.com

Presentation begins at 9:30am London Time on 15 May 2018 A webcast of the presentation will be available both live and for replay (please register on the following link): http://cache.merchantcantos.com/webcast/webcaster/4000/7464/16532/102990/Lobby/default.htm or for those who prefer a telephone dial-in the numbers to use are: Conference call dials UK & International: +44 (0) 20 3003 2666 UK Toll Free: 0808 109 0700 US toll: +1 212 999 6659 US Toll Free: 1 866 966 5335

Replay available for 7 days UK & International: +44 (0) 20 8196 1998 UK Toll Free: 0800 633 8453 US Toll Free: 1 866 583 1035 PIN: 9462784#

Overview

During the six months to 31 March 2018 easyJet delivered strong revenue and profit growth. This is primarily due to the positive trading environment developed as a result of the strength of its network, brand and customer proposition. As the oil price continues to rise, we expect financial pressure to increase on less efficient airlines. easyJet will continue to manage its own capacity growth plans to drive long-term returns.

The airline's strategy will enable it to continue to be a structural winner within its chosen markets in the European short-haul market.

Revenue

Total revenue increased by 19.5% to £2,183 million (H1 2017: £1,827 million) and total revenue per seat grew by 10.9% to £54.10 (H1 2017: £48.80), reflecting a strong underlying revenue improvement as well as easyJet’s acquisition of part of Air Berlin’s operations at Berlin Tegel airport.

Excluding Tegel operations, revenue per seat increased by 12% to £54.64 and by 9.5% at constant currency to £53.45. This was driven by:

  • easyJet’s growth in capacity by 4.6%, focused on growth in the French regions, further consolidating positions in core UK airports and continuing to grow our number one positions in Basel and Venice
  • An increase of 1.7 percentage points in load factor to 91.9%
  • The benefit of lower market capacity, with the one-off events of bankruptcy at Monarch and Air Berlin and the winter withdrawal of Ryanair from the UK domestic market
  • Seasonality – with the benefit of the partial movement of Easter to the second quarter of the financial year (an H1 impact of 1.6% on revenue per seat at constant currency)
  • A strong performance on ancillary revenue per seat, increasing by 14.0% at constant currency, due mainly to further innovation and conversion uplift supported by digital acceleration. Specifically easyJet improved its bag proposition, introducing a new 15kg/23kg offering for our customers, smarter bag yield algorithms and further benefits from the Hands Free product
  • A foreign currency revenue benefit from a stronger Euro against Sterling

Cost

Total headline cost per seat was broadly flat at £54.53 (H1 2017: £54.45) as the benefits of easyJet’s cost focus and lower fuel price offset a negative foreign exchange impact. Headline cost per seat at constant currency improved by 1.5% to £53.64.

 

Excluding Tegel operations easyJet’s headline cost per seat excluding fuel at constant currency increased by 1.3% to £42.74, higher than previously guided due to the impact of severe weather. This cost performance is driven by:

 

  • Cost initiatives delivered £66 million in savings in the half, with the majority relating to airport charges, offsetting underlying inflation
  • Lower navigation charges
  • Up-gauging of fleet with the addition of 23 186-seat A320 aircraft since 31 March 2017

This has helped to offset:

  • Disruption and de-icing costs that increased cost per seat by 0.5% at constant currency, due to prolonged severe weather throughout the period
  • Inflationary cost pressures, including the impact of regulated airport charges, previously agreed crew pay deals and higher ground handling charges in a number of countries
  • Additional ownership and financing costs that were anticipated following investment in the long-term growth of the airline and the A319 sale and leaseback transaction
  • Costs associated with higher load factor
  • Investment in resilience, including the hiring of ex-Monarch crew and the investment in the new ground handling contract at Gatwick

Tegel operations

On 15 December 2017 easyJet completed the partial acquisition of Air Berlin’s operations at Berlin Tegel airport. Progress to date has been positive and in line with expectations.

easyJet’s Tegel flying programme started on 5 January, operating a winter schedule with a fleet of mainly wet leased aircraft in order to retain its slot portfolio. As anticipated, in this start-up phase Tegel flying has resulted in lower than average load factors and revenue per seat due to the short lead times to sell flights and a mainly inherited schedule. Higher than normal cost per seat reflects the expensive nature of interim wet leasing arrangements whilst easyJet introduces its own fleet.

 

 

 

 

H1 2018

 

Passengers

 

0.7m

 

Seats flown

 

1.2m

 

Load factor

 

63.4%

 

Revenue

 

£42m

 

Revenue per seat

 

£35.97

 

Headline cost excluding fuel

 

£48.02

 

Headline loss

 

-£26m

 

Non-headline cost

 

£24m

 

 

easyJet is also making good progress with its non-flying activities related to the transaction, mainly the recruitment and training of crew and the process of converting ex-Air Berlin aircraft into easyJet fleet. These costs are reported as non-headline and totalled £24 million in H1 2018. These costs are one-off in nature and no related costs are anticipated beyond this financial year.

Non-headline costs

easyJet has incurred £50 million in non-headline costs during the first half of FY 2018. These costs are separately disclosed as non-headline profit before tax items. The most significant items were as follows:

  • £19 million non-cash charge as a result of the sale and leaseback of ten A319 aircraft in the first quarter (H1 2017: £16 million), which includes a £3 million adverse impact from foreign exchange movements
  • £24 million charge associated with the integration costs of the Berlin Tegel operation (H1 2017: £nil), as noted above

Non-headline items are material non-recurring items or are items which do not reflect the trading performance of the business. Further detail can be found in the notes to the accounts.

 

 

Strategic progress

Building on a strong foundation

easyJet has a well-established business model that provides a strong foundation to drive profitable growth and long term shareholder returns. easyJet is delivering its strategy through:

  1. A unique network
  2. A structural cost advantage
  3. Scale and a strong balance sheet
  4. The best people
  5. A strong brand
  6. Data

A unique network

easyJet’s strategy is focused on key airports, serving valuable catchment areas that represent Europe’s top markets by GDP, driving both leisure and business travel.

During H1 2018 easyJet focused its growth on maintaining market share in the UK and Switzerland and growing in regional France. This included the opening of a new base in Bordeaux, where easyJet is now the number one airline. easyJet also invested capacity growth in its city strategy: in Venice to consolidate its number one position, and in Amsterdam where the airport is now at full capacity. Further capacity growth was deployed in easyJet’s lean bases to increase their scale and leverage their cost advantage. In March we closed our Hamburg base, transferring 85% of the workforce to other bases. easyJet now has 29 bases across its network.

Building on this network easyJet has seen excellent results from Worldwide by easyJet, its partnership with airlines and airports. Bookings to date have included over 2,700 unique origin and destination routes with Jersey, Chicago and Los Angeles the most popular origin markets. Volume continues to grow steadily and is now starting to benefit from the availability of new connections such as in Venice. Partner connections make up c.55% of Worldwide bookings with the remainder representing easyJet to easyJet connections at its primary airports.

A structural cost advantage

easyJet is committed to maintaining its structural cost advantage in the markets where it operates, primarily against the legacy airlines. Through its cost focus easyJet continues to identify both short-term efficiencies and longer term structural cost savings, leveraging its increasing scale. These savings enable the airline to offset the effects of underlying inflation, keep fares low for our customers and address disruption costs.

easyJet achieves this through dedicated work streams covering areas such as process improvement, supplier relationship management, use of data, reducing bureaucracy and investment into future technology. These are combined with a number of strategic cost initiatives, such as the fleet investment programme including up-gauging and cost efficiency from A320 and A321 NEOs as well as our recent organisational review and predictive maintenance.

easyJet has achieved sustainable cost savings of over £450 million in the last seven years, with £66 million saved in H1 2018.

Scale and a strong balance sheet

easyJet has almost 300 aircraft and is set to carry over 90 million customers this year. As well as being a large airline it is a relatively simple one – with one aircraft type, one brand, and one main distribution channel. This means it can leverage scale across the company. As it grows, easyJet’s strategy is to drive out complexity and keep its focus on simplicity and efficiency.

 

easyJet’s total fleet as at 31 March 2018 comprised 298 aircraft (30 September 2017: 279 aircraft), which is principally due to the addition of ex-Air Berlin aircraft. The average age of the fleet decreased slightly to 7.0 years (30 September 2017: 7.1 years).  In the first half easyJet’s asset utilisation across the network reduced to an average 9.7 block hours per day when compared to H1 2017 (10.0 hours), partly impacted by the severe weather disruption in March.

Fleet as at 31 March 2018:

 

 

 

 

 

Owned

 

Finance leases

 

Operating leases

 

Total

 

 

 

% of fleet

 

Changes since Sept 2017

 

Future deliveries

 

Unexercised purchase rights

 

A319

 

79

 

-

 

55

 

134

 

45%

 

(9)

 

-

 

-

 

A320 180 seat

 

46

 

1

 

28

 

75

 

25%

 

19

 

-

 

-

 

A320 186 seat

 

71

 

4

 

9

 

84

 

28%

 

6

 

9

 

-

 

A320 neo

 

5

 

-

 

-

 

5

 

2%

 

3

 

95

 

100

 

A321 neo

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

30

 

-

 

201

 

5

 

92

 

298

 

 

 

19

 

134

 

100

 

 

 

67%

 

2%

 

31%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

easyJet’s business model and strategy are underpinned by sector leading balance sheet strength. easyJet is committed to its investment grade rating, with a BBB+ rating from Standard & Poor’s and a Baa1 rating from Moody’s.

Of the 206 aircraft on easyJet’s balance sheet at 31 March 2018, 201 (98%) are unencumbered. At 31 March 2017 easyJet had 193 aircraft on its balance sheet of which 188 were unencumbered.

easyJet’s funding position is strong with net cash at 31 March 2018 of £665m (31 March 2017: £353m). The year on year improvement is due to an increase in unearned revenue from the growth and timing of schedule releases, as well as improved supplier terms.

The best people

easyJet’s customer-facing employees are the very best in the industry and contribute significantly to the positive experience that passengers enjoy, leading to increased loyalty and repeat business.

easyJet continues to recruit and promote internally to support its growth. easyJet has today announced the appointment a number of new Airline Management Board members. easyJet is pleased to announce the appointment of Garry Wilson as the head of easyJet Holidays, which is discussed in more detail below. Luca Zuccoli will join as Chief Data Officer, to lead and coordinate the management of data across the airline. Flic Howard-Allen has been appointed to the position of Group Communications Director to replace Paul Moore and Ella Bennett will become Group People Director, taking over from our Interim Group People Director Jo Ferris. Lis Blair has been promoted to become Chief Marketing Officer, a role that was created in the airline’s restructure in January. Finally, as part of that same restructure Thomas Haagensen has been appointed to the newly created role of Group Markets Director, providing a clear voice for Europe within the business.

easyJet will also continue to invest in its people in order to drive the brand differentiation that our customers value. We need to have the right people with the right skills and to provide them with an environment that supports productivity and efficiency.

The proof of this is delivered every day by easyJet’s crew who prove that you can offer a differentiated service on short haul flights by caring about your customers. easyJet’s crew are hugely engaged and committed – with only 6% crew turnover. Our customers feel this as well, as is demonstrated by their satisfaction with the friendliness and approachability of our crew at 86%. We will continue to invest in our people in the following ways:

  • Performance management – easyJet will drive through the planned benefits of the new structure and ways of working in place following the recent organisational review which has delivered over £12 million of sustainable overhead saving
  • Connected operations – easyJet will use technology to introduce further efficiency and improvements for our crew
  • Productivity and efficiency – easyJet will invest in infrastructure and technology to improve productivity across the business

A strong brand

easyJet’s brand is core to attracting customers in the European short-haul market and is based on its customer proposition of an attractive network, excellent service and market-leading digital tools.

For the first time easyJet is the most considered airline brand in the UK, moving ahead of British Airways and reaching our highest score to date. In H1 2018 we are ranked number one in terms of value for money perceptions, now 14 points ahead of BA and 19 points ahead of Ryanair. In Switzerland 4 in 10 consumers consider easyJet their first choice airline whilst in France and Italy more than 1 in 5 say the same. This was recently recognised in the Skyscanner Award for Best Value Airline for European short haul travel.

Data

easyJet sees data as a source of significant future advantage and is pleased to announce that Luca Zuccoli has today been appointed as easyJet’s Chief Data Officer.

The airline has the potential to utilise better the billions of data points it generates each year. easyJet is already using machine learning and A.I., but only on a limited basis and with a small team of data scientists. The business will invest in this capability and platforms to unlock this potential, for example in its recent creation of an Analytics Data Hub that aggregates data from multiple sources across the business and provides the architecture to drive commercial, cost and customer value.

easyJet will focus on three areas to deliver significant benefits from data:

  • Revenue – opportunities to leverage existing data-based initiatives, in particular focusing on enhancing the revenue management system, harnessing customer-related information and improving easyJet’s network and scheduling processes
  • Cost and operations – improving utilisation and productivity, fuel efficiency and resilience and minimising the impact of disruption.
  • Customer – both on-board to complement existing demand and personalisation initiatives, such as food and beverage, and “off-board” where we will develop our capability to make the most efficient, effective decisions to the customer’s benefit such as in managing disruption.

 

 

Future opportunities to drive margin and profit per seat

easyJet will continue to deliver its core strategy based on its strong, established business model.  easyJet will also now focus on developing and investing in a number of opportunities where it can leverage its existing assets and expertise to secure further profitable growth and increased profit per seat.

This is an evolution of existing capabilities and will focus on investing in three revenue initiatives, which build on areas of core strength to drive revenue:

  • Transforming our holidays business
  • A more compelling business passengers proposition
  • Driving easyJet loyalty

To unlock the significant value in these initiatives, easyJet expects to invest both capital and operational expenditure. The majority of this investment will occur in Financial Year 2019 and start to deliver increased profit per seat in FY 2020.

Transforming our holidays business

easyJet sees a significant opportunity to transform its holidays proposition, based on its existing network of destinations and frequencies, efficient low cost operations, its unique customer base and the ability to develop a proposition that is aligned with the easyJet brand. Currently only 500,000 passengers book a hotel with us out of an addressable market of 20 million. We see an opportunity to add significant value by forming a dedicated business unit offering a clear and attractive proposition, based on efficient technology and data.

easyJet has a clear vision to offer its customers quality, great value hotels based on its understanding of their needs. On the biggest and most attractive flows into the most popular destinations in Europe easyJet has a market share, a frequency and most importantly a cost position that no one else can match. easyJet has a cost advantage of at least 20% over the leading operators which allows us to offer great value to our customers.

easyJet will develop closer and strong relationships directly with selected hotel operators. By combining a quality, great value hotel offer with the flexibility of multiple frequencies to major European destinations, easyJet will deliver a better value proposition for our customers.

easyJet will use its data and digital capability to support the proposition, driving ancillary revenue through increasing conversion and attachment rates and the overall average booking value. easyJet will further develop its  website and booking process and add data-driven customisation to maximise the attraction to passengers. By combining a quality, great value hotel offer with the flexibility of multiple frequencies to major European destinations, we will deliver a better value proposition for our customers.

We have today announced the appointment of Garry Wilson to lead easyJet Holidays and he will be a member of the Airline Management Board and will report directly to the Group CEO.

Compelling business passenger proposition

easyJet has a well-established and attractive business passengers proposition, based on its network of primary airports, slot portfolio and high frequency on Europe’s major commercial routes. easyJet has built its business customer base from 10 million in 2012 to a record 13.7 million in the H1 2018. Whilst on certain routes almost 60% of easyJet’s customers are business passengers, this community is under-represented in other markets. easyJet will now aim to increase its loyal business customer base and capturing more of the yield premium these individuals provide.

easyJet’s business customers like to arrive last and leave first, with an additional on-board bag and an allocated seat. easyJet can deliver this and more, whilst maintaining its competitive “lowest fare on the day” that makes it attractive to corporate buyers. Further improvements to the schedule can add a business-bias on certain routes and frequencies. easyJet also wants to make it easier for businesses to do business with us. This will mostly focus on capabilities such as building a new online portal to allow small and medium size businesses to book more easily with us, automating invoicing and more direct contracting with our corporate customers.

Driving easyJet Loyalty

easyJet continues to benefit from increasingly loyal customers. In H1 2018, 75% of its seats were booked by returning customers, representing 63 million passengers which is an increase of 6.7 million compared to H1 2017. easyJet’s loyalty scheme Flight Club is also producing demonstrable revenue benefits, with Flight Club members increasing by 41% in H1 2018 compared to H1 2017, with over 8.4% of seats booked by Flight Club customers in H1 2018.

The development of innovative schemes in other industries shows that loyalty does not need to be the expensive, complex structure at other airlines. easyJet’s current proposition to reward and encourage customers to continue to fly with us is delivered through the easyJet Plus and Flight Club schemes. Returning customers book twice as many flights a year as new customers and drive both passenger and ancillary revenue through increased demand, conversion and attachment rates. easyJet has increased its number of returning customers from 37 million in 2010 to over 60 million but presently 46% of customers only fly with us once a year. This represents a major opportunity to drive loyalty further and complement other initiatives in both leisure and business.

Through reward and recognition, easyJet will introduce an expanded offer to reach more of its customers, and continue to improve its existing offering. easyJet will deliver a rewards and recognition programme that will represent high value to our customers but remain true to the easyJet brand. easyJet is still in the early stages of how to develop its current proposition further and will update the market later in the year.

Disruption

Further to our structural cost programme initiatives where we leverage our scale, easyJet sees opportunities to address the rising cost of disruption, which will also drive better On Time Performance and customer satisfaction, as well as reduce overhead costs.

On Time Performance

In the six months to 31 March 2018, On Time Performance (OTP) was up one percentage point year on year to 81%. This is despite the severe weather and regular third party industrial relations activity during the period, which led to a 39% increase in cancellations and delays to 4,605 (H1 2017: 3,302). Reflecting the challenges of operating at scale in London airspace, OTP excluding the UK reached 84%.

 

 

OTP % arrivals within 15 minutes(3)

 

Q1

 

Q2

 

H1

 

2018  Network

 

81%

 

82%

 

81%

 

         Network excluding UK

 

83%

 

84%

 

84%

 

2017  Network

 

79%

 

80%

 

80%

 

         Network excluding UK

 

82%

 

82%

 

82%

 

 

UK AOC

On 14 May, the Civil Aviation Authority confirmed that easyJet had been awarded a new UK Air Operator Certificate (AOC).  easyJet plans to transfer its UK-based fleet across to this AOC in June 2018 and our Luton-based Group Operations will continue to support all three standalone AOCs in Austria and Switzerland as well as the UK.

 

Targeting higher profit per seat and returns

Combining these opportunities with the strength of easyJet’s core business model and an enhanced Data capability, easyJet’s investment in these initiatives will drive higher profit per seat, increase the return on capital employed and deliver sustainable returns to shareholders through the dividend. As a result easyJet now expects cost per seat excluding fuel at constant currency (ex-Tegel) to be flat to marginally up in Financial Year 2019.

The focus on profit per seat will drive better decision making for the long term and ensure the business makes the right level of investment.

FY 2018 Outlook

easyJet is confident in its strategy and will continue its disciplined investment in reinforcing and expanding number one positions in its airports and on its routes, with significant opportunities in its core markets. Capacity ex-Tegel is planned to grow by around 5% in the second half of Financial Year 2018.

easyJet expects ex-Tegel revenue per seat at constant currency for the second half of the financial year to be slightly positive, reflecting on the one hand the negative impact of the move of Easter and on the other hand an improving yield and capacity environment, as well as the benefit of ongoing strikes at Air France. Forward bookings are currently ahead of last year at 79% for the quarter and 57% for the second half (H1 2017: 77% and 55% respectively). 

easyJet expects the ex-Tegel headline cost per seat at constant currency excluding fuel to increase by c.2% for the full year (assuming normal levels of disruption in H2). This additional increase reflects the severe disruption seen in the first half of the year and expected higher employee incentive costs due to our strong profit and operational performance.

At Tegel we now expect to deliver a combined headline and non-headline one-off impact that is within the £160m previously guided. easyJet is now expecting an increase to the headline loss to between £75 million and £95 million. This reflects a £15 million adverse impact from the increase in the fuel price in the period, recent security charge increases in Germany, as well as a lower average gauge than planned on some of our wet leased aircraft. In addition this reflects uncertainty regarding summer revenue whilst easyJet flies the, now finalised, sub-optimal ex-Air Berlin schedule. This is anticipated to be offset by a combination of trading benefits from Schönefeld, which benefits from the improved Berlin customer proposition, and savings in the non-headline implementation costs which are now expected to be circa £60 million, primarily due to lower than expected lease costs. easyJet expects Tegel operations to be earnings enhancing in FY 2019.

It is estimated that at current exchange rates(4) and with jet fuel remaining within a $680 metric tonne to $740 metric tonne trading range, easyJet’s unit fuel(5) bill excluding Tegel for the 12 months to 30 September 2018 is likely to decrease by between £60 million and £70 million compared to the 12 months to 30 September 2017. easyJet’s total fuel cost excluding Tegel for the year to 30 September 2018 is currently estimated to be approximately £1,120 million.

In addition, exchange rate movements are likely to have around a £25 million positive impact on ex-Tegel headline profit before tax compared to the twelve months to 30 September 2017.

easyJet expects that its reported headline profit before tax for the 12 months to 30 September 2018 including Tegel will be £530 million to £580 million.

Capital expenditure for the financial year to 30 September 2018, including the investment in Tegel, is expected to remain in line with previous guidance at £1.2bn.

 

 

 

Hedging positions

Details of hedging arrangements as at 31 March 2018 are set out below, which now includes fuel related to our Tegel operations:

 

 

Percentage of anticipated requirement hedged

 

Fuel requirement

 

US Dollar requirement

 

Euro surplus

 

CHF surplus

 

Six months to 30 September 2018

 

73%

 

76%

 

88%

 

78%

 

Average rate

 

$524 / metric tonne

 

$1.36

 

€1.20

 

CHF 1.28

 

Full year ending 30 September 2018

 

76%

 

80%

 

71%

 

76%

 

Average rate

 

$519 / metric tonne

 

$1.36

 

€1.22

 

CHF 1.31

 

Full year ending 30 September 2019

 

56%

 

59%

 

65%

 

58%

 

Average rate

 

$549 / metric tonne

 

$1.33

 

€1.13

 

CHF 1.24

 

 

 

(1) Constant currency is calculated by comparing 2018 financial period performance translated at the 2017 financial period effective exchange rate to the 2017 financial period reported performance, excluding foreign exchange gains and losses on balance sheet revaluations

(2) Source: Millward Brown brand tracker

(3) On-time performance measured by internal easyJet system

(4) US $ to £ sterling 1.38, euro to £ sterling 1.14. Currency, capital expenditure and fuel increases are shown net of hedging impact

(5) Unit fuel calculated as the difference between latest estimate of FY’18 fuel costs less FY’17 fuel cost per seat multiplied by FY’18 seat capacity

OUR FINANCIAL RESULTS

Total headline loss before tax decreased from £212 million for the six months ended 31 March 2017 to £18 million for the six months ended 31 March 2018. At constant currency, headline loss before tax for the six months ended 31 March 2018 would have been £32 million, giving a favourable foreign exchange impact of £14 million compared to last year. Total loss before tax decreased from £236 million for the six months ended 31 March 2017 to £68 million for the six months ended 31 March 2018.

 

On 15 December 2017 easyJet completed the acquisition of part of Air Berlin’s operations at Berlin Tegel airport. Its flying programme started on 5 January 2018, operating a winter schedule with a fleet of mainly wet leased aircraft. As anticipated, Tegel flying resulted in a dilutive impact to overall load performance, revenue per seat and cost per seat whilst the operation is being established.

 

The impact of the Tegel operation has been split out in the Income Statement as it has a planned dilutive impact on the performance of the business in year one.  Therefore, the presentation of ex-Tegel flying separately provides a more appropriate comparator to the prior year. 

 

Tegel headline loss in the period relates to our flying activities in Tegel including the use of wet lease aircraft with initially lower loads and yields.  Tegel non-headline costs represent the parallel ramp up of our dry lease operation, including fleet conversion and staff recruitment and training costs, as well as transaction costs.

 

The ex-Tegel result for the six months ended 31 March 2018 was a headline profit before tax of £8 million.

 

FINANCIAL OVERVIEW

 

£m (Reported)

 

 

 

H1 2018

 

 

 

H1 2017

 

 

 

H1 2018

 

 

 

H1 2018

 

 

 

H1 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Ex-Tegel

 

 

 

Tegel

 

 

 

Total

 

Revenue

 

 

 

2,141

 

 

 

1,827

 

 

 

42

 

 

 

2,183

 

 

 

1,827

 

Headline costs excluding fuel

 

 

 

(1,683)

 

 

 

(1,580)

 

 

 

(57)

 

 

 

(1,740)

 

 

 

(1,580)

 

Fuel

 

 

 

(450)

 

 

 

(459)

 

 

 

(11)

 

 

 

(461)

 

 

 

(459)

 

Headline profit/(loss) before tax

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

(212)

 

 

 

(26)

 

 

 

(18)

 

 

 

(212)

 

Headline tax (charge)/credit

 

 

 

(2)

 

 

 

40

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

40

 

Headline profit/(loss) after tax

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

(172)

 

 

 

(19)

 

 

 

(13)

 

 

 

(172)

 

Non-headline loss after tax

 

 

 

(22)

 

 

 

(20)

 

 

 

(19)

 

 

 

(41)

 

 

 

(20)

 

Total loss after tax

 

 

 

(16)

 

 

 

(192)

 

 

 

(38)

 

 

 

(54)

 

 

 

(192)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

£ per seat (Reported)

 

 

 

H1 2018

 

 

 

H1 2017

 

 

 

H1 2018

 

 

 

H1 2018

 

 

 

H1 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Ex-Tegel

 

 

 

Tegel

 

 

 

Total

 

Revenue

 

 

 

54.64

 

 

 

48.80

 

 

 

35.97

 

 

 

54.10

 

 

 

48.80

 

Headline costs excluding fuel

 

 

 

(42.96)

 

 

 

(42.18)

 

 

 

(48.02)

 

 

 

(43.11)

 

 

 

(42.18)

 

Fuel

 

 

 

(11.48)

 

 

 

(12.27)

 

 

 

(9.45)

 

 

 

(11.42)

 

 

 

(12.27)

 

Headline profit/(loss) before tax

 

 

 

0.20

 

 

 

(5.65)

 

 

 

(21.50)

 

 

 

(0.43)

 

 

 

(5.65)

 

Headline tax (charge)/credit

 

 

 

(0.05)

 

 

 

1.06

 

 

 

5.95

 

 

 

0.11

 

 

 

1.06

 

Headline profit/(loss) after tax

 

 

 

0.15

 

 

 

(4.59)

 

 

 

(15.55)

 

 

 

(0.32)

 

 

 

(4.59)

 

Non-headline loss after tax

 

 

 

(0.54)

 

 

 

(0.51)

 

 

 

(16.73)

 

 

 

(1.02)

 

 

 

(0.51)

 

Total loss after tax

 

 

 

(0.39)

 

 

 

(5.10)

 

 

 

(32.28)

 

 

 

(1.34)

 

 

 

(5.10)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The total number of passengers carried increased by 8.8% to 36.8 million, driven by a growth in seats flown of 7.8% to 40.4 million seats and load factor increasing by 0.9 percentage points to 91.1%. Ex-Tegel number of passengers increased by 6.6%, seats flown increased by 4.6% and load factor increased by 1.7 percentage points.

 

Total revenue per seat grew by 10.9% to £54.10 (H1 2017: £48.80), and increased by 8.3% at constant currency. Ex-Tegel revenue per seat performance exceeded last year by 9.5% at constant currency. The increase in revenue per seat is a consequence of the positive trading environment based on the strength of our network and customer proposition, capacity reductions and lower growth in easyJet markets, in particular as a result of the bankruptcies of Monarch, Air Berlin and Alitalia as well as the impact from Ryanair’s flight cancellations. This was further aided by the partial movement of Easter into March. Tegel generated £42 million of revenue in the period; Tegel revenue per seat was £35.97 which had a dilutive impact on total revenue per seat.

 

Total headline cost per seat excluding fuel increased by 2.2% to £43.11, and increased by 1.6% at constant currency. Ex-Tegel headline cost per seat excluding fuel was £42.96, exceeding last year by 1.3% at constant currency. Crew costs were higher than last year due to agreed inflationary increases in pay. Disruption charges increased, mainly due to an increase in the number of events caused by severe weather and industrial action and the greater level of customer awareness of EU 261, along with additional de-icing costs due to the higher levels of adverse winter weather. These were partially offset by unit cost benefits as we deliver growth at our larger airports, the up-gauging of fleet to bigger and more efficient aircraft, savings obtained from airport lean initiatives and navigation price benefits. Tegel headline costs were £68 million in the period and headline cost per seat was £57.47, which had an impact on total cost per seat.

 

Fuel costs fell by 6.9% to £11.42 per seat (H1 2017: £12.27) and by 12.2% at constant currency. Increases in the market price of fuel were more than offset by the impact of the operation of easyJet’s fuel and USD hedging policy.

 

A total non-headline cost before tax of £50 million was recognised in the period, consisting of a £19 million charge as a result of the sale and leaseback of ten A319 aircraft in the period, a £1 million charge associated with the organisational review, a £4 million charge for Brexit-related plans, a £24 million charge for the integration of the Berlin Tegel operation and a £2 million charge relating to fair value adjustments associated with the cross currency interest rate swaps in place for the Eurobonds issued on February 2016 and October 2016.

 

Corporate tax has been recognised at an effective rate of 19.8% (H1 2017: credited at 18.7%) based on rates substantively enacted as at 31 March 2018, resulting in a tax credit of £14 million during the period.

 

Loss per share and dividends per share

 

 

 

 

 

H1 2018

 

 

 

H1 2017

 

 

 

Change

 

 

 

 

 

pence per share

 

 

 

pence per share

 

 

 

pence per share

 

Basic headline loss per share

 

 

 

(3.3)

 

 

 

(43.8)

 

 

 

40.5

 

Basic total loss per share

 

 

 

(13.7)

 

 

 

(48.9)

 

 

 

35.2

 

Ordinary dividend per share paid during the period

 

 

 

40.9

 

 

 

53.8

 

 

 

(12.9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic headline loss per share decreased by 40.5 pence as a consequence of the £159 million decrease in the headline loss after tax in the six months to 31 March 2018 compared to 31 March 2017.

 

In line with the stated dividend policy of a payout ratio of 50% of profit after tax, easyJet paid an ordinary dividend of 40.9 pence per share on 23 March 2018, with a record date of 2 March 2018.

EXCHANGE RATES

The proportion of revenue and costs denominated in currencies other than sterling remained broadly consistent year-on-year:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Costs

 

 

 

 

 

H1 2018

 

 

 

H1 2017

 

 

 

H1 2018

 

 

 

H1 2017

 

Sterling

 

 

 

44%

 

 

 

45%

 

 

 

32%

 

 

 

33%

 

Euro

 

 

 

44%

 

 

 

43%

 

 

 

39%

 

 

 

36%

 

US dollar

 

 

 

1%

 

 

 

1%

 

 

 

22%

 

 

 

23%

 

Other (principally Swiss franc)

 

 

 

11%

 

 

 

11%

 

 

 

7%

 

 

 

8%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average exchange rates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H1 2018

 

 

 

H1 2017

 

Euro - revenue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

€1.15

 

 

 

€1.21

 

Euro - costs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

€1.13

 

 

 

€1.16

 

US dollar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$1.41

 

 

 

$1.51

 

Swiss franc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHF 1.28

 

 

 

CHF 1.78

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The net favourable impact on profit due to the year-on-year changes in exchange rates was mainly driven by the weakening of Sterling against the Euro and Swiss Franc, partially offset by the adverse impact of the Sterling/US Dollar exchange rate movement on fuel costs:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Headline

 

 

 

Euro

 

 

 

Swiss franc

 

 

 

US dollar

 

 

 

Other

 

 

 

Total

 

Favourable/(adverse)

 

 

 

£ million

 

 

 

£ million

 

 

 

£ million

 

 

 

£ million

 

 

 

£ million

 

Total revenue

 

 

 

44

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

(1)

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

50

 

Fuel

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

(26)

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

(26)

 

Headline costs excluding fuel

 

 

 

(18)

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

(1)

 

 

 

(10)

 

Headline loss before tax

 

 

 

26

 

 

 

14

 

 

 

(26)

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-headline

 

 

 

Euro

 

 

 

Swiss franc

 

 

 

US dollar

 

 

 

Other

 

 

 

Total

 

Favourable/(adverse)

 

 

 

£ million

 

 

 

£ million

 

 

 

£ million

 

 

 

£ million

 

 

 

£ million

 

Non-headline costs excluding prior year balance sheet revaluations

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

(7)

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

(7)

 

Prior year balance sheet revaluations

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

(4)

 

 

 

(1)

 

 

 

(1)

 

Non-headline loss before tax

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

(11)

 

 

 

(1)

 

 

 

(8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

Ex-Tegel revenue

 

 

 

 

 

H1 2018

 

 

 

H1 2017

 

 

 

 

 

£ million

 

 

 

£ per seat

 

 

 

£ million

 

 

 

£ per seat

 

Passenger revenue

 

 

 

1,695

 

 

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