Britain's easyJet has reported a small rise in winter bookings, shrugging off concerns about an increasingly competitive European travel market. As Axel Threlfall reports the low-cost airline also posted a 21.5 percent rise in pretax profit for the year ended Sept. 30.
A volatile start for easyJet as the low-cost carrier reports a solid jump in annual profits, at the upper end of guidance, and a hike in its dividend.... Shares fell as much as 2% at the open, turned positive 20 mins or so later..but have remained under pressure... The carrier, never-the-less, saying it was positioned to deliver further annual growth... the divi hike was more than 35% to 45.4 pence, in line with a proposal made earlier this year...but there was no committment to a special dividend and that, according to Barclays, could have disappointed. Very positive noises from management, unsurprisingly...successful execution of strategy...friendly service...means they are "well-placed to deliver sustainable returns and growth for sharehodlers." More than 64 million passengers flown, a reassuring winter yield outlook, according to Barclays...for now, seems a positive story for easyJet.