SATURDAY 8th OCTOBER 2016: Breaking: it is being suggested Julian Brays live broadcast on Share Radio moments after easyJet interims were published, helped cause the 'mega' drop in Sterling against the US dollar. All we can say is that easyJet published the forecast and also included the warning to the Market (we both reprinted and commented on it) regarding exchange rate fluctuations:
" The Interim statement assumes the Sterling rate against the US dollar at 1.2716, against the Euro at 1.134 and against the Swiss Franc at 1.2433. A one cent movement in the £/$ would impact the full year 2017 pre-tax result by +/- £3.0m. "
Julian Bray Aviation Expert writes: As I discussed live on Share Radio early this morning just 50 minutes after the release of the Interims; it pays to be cautiously optimistic in the aviation business, and when external factors such as the impact Brexit and exchange rates will have on day-to-day operations, and one off costs to keep the airline operating within Europe - by establishing an European AOC - are fully understood, any forward looking statement, has at best to be an informed opinion or optimistic 'shot in the dark,' rather than based on actuality.
Essentially Brexit has ripped out and moved the financial goal posts permanently, but no one knows exactly where they will finally end up. Holiday US dollar exchange rates at High Street money shops are currently: Sterling rate against the US dollar at 1.2108 was below the highly optimistic rate (1.2716) used in the easyJet projection.
Influencing the newly released (at 7am this morning) easyJet forecast is the positive news that an all female top management and operational team is now fully installed at easyJet.
Chris Browne (previously the well regarded, no nonsense COO from TUI Airlines) has taken over as Chief Operating Officer from October 1st. Carolyn McCall is still the CEO of easyJet.
Perhaps out of all this, the really good immediate news is that today Thursday October 6 2016 is the cheapest time to book millions of tickets. Deep, deep discounted flights between the dates of 26 March 2017 and 25 June 2017 are on sale for a short time, but importantly the dates include flights over Easter and half term not to mention the tail end of the ski season and the shoulder period of Summer flying. Fill your boots, but do it quickly!
Caution: EasyJet have calculated projected figures used an assumed exchange rate. The Interim statement assumes the Sterling rate against the US dollar at 1.2716, against the Euro at 1.134 and against the Swiss Franc at 1.2433. A one cent movement in the £/$ would impact the full year 2017 pre-tax result by +/- £3.0m.
EASYJET TRADING UPDATE, 6 OCTOBER 2016
COMPANY INTERIM STATEMENT ISSUED AT 7:00 hrs BST 6 /10/2016
easyJet delivers record passenger numbers and higher load factors in summer trading
Strong profit before tax achieved despite major external shock events and disruption
Cost focus continues with significant cost per seat reduction in the fourth quarter
easyJet’s leading European network continued to drive passenger growth in the three months ending 30 September 2016.
Passenger numbers for the three months were a record 22.0 million with a strong load factor of 93.9%.
Passengers have benefitted from the low fares across our network with revenue per seat at constant currency decreasing by 8.7% during the quarter compared to this same period in 2015.
easyJet has performed strongly in a difficult operating environment for all European airlines and in the three month period has been affected by major disruption, exchange rate fluctuations impacting holiday travel costs, the impact on demand from terrorist events and the low cost of fuel continuing to drive increased market capacity.
Cost per seat excluding fuel at constant currency is expected to decrease by 1.1% for the full year, slightly better than previous guidance. Cost per seat at constant currency including fuel is expected to decrease by 4.6%. easyJet remains very focused on cost and has continued to drive structural improvements, such as in maintenance and overhead costs.
Significant exchange rate movements since the EU referendum result have had a net adverse impact on the Company. Foreign exchange rate movements are now expected to have around a £90 million adverse impact compared to the financial year to 30 September 2015, an increase of £35 million since 23 June.
easyJet’s unit fuel1 bill for the second half of the financial year is expected to decrease by between £75 million and £80 million compared to the six months to 30 September 2015.
easyJet’s full year profit before tax is expected to be the range of £490 million to £495 million for the year to 30 September 2016.
The effective tax rate for financial year 2016 will be low double digits, primarily due to the non-cash benefit arising from the recognition of deferred tax liabilities at the recently enacted 17% tax rate, which will have a beneficial impact on earnings per share. easyJet remains committed to declaring a full year dividend based on a payout ratio of 50% of post-tax income.
easyJet continues to see the current market environment as an opportunity to build and strengthen its strategic position for the long term.
As previously guided, capacity is expected to grow by around 8% for the financial year ending 30 September 2017.
Approximately 45% of seats are now sold for the first quarter, in line with last year.
Revenue per seat in the first quarter continues to be down year on year and is currently expected to be broadly in line with the reduction seen in the fourth quarter 2016.
Cost per seat excluding fuel and at constant currency is currently expected to increase by around 1% for the year to 30 September 2017, reflecting increased investment in operational resilience as well as the timing of longer term cost savings.
This excludes the impact of a number of aircraft sale and leaseback transactions, plus the one off costs associated with the set-up of a European AOC and changes to the organisational structure, as well as the outcome of on-going union negotiations.
easyJet remains committed to its target of flat unit cost per seat in Financial Year 2019 against Financial Year 2015, excluding fuel and at constant currency with normal levels of disruption. T
The foreign exchange headwind will continue into 2017 mainly driven by weaker Sterling against the US dollar affecting the cost of fuel. The total expected foreign exchange impact for the year to 30 September 2017 is around £90 million 2.
Carolyn McCall, easyJet Chief Executive, commented:
"easyJet continues to attract record numbers of passengers due to its wide range of destinations, convenient flight times and value for money fares. We have been disproportionately affected by extraordinary events this year but our excellent network, cost control and revenue initiatives and our strong balance sheet underpin our confidence in the business.
The current environment is tough for all airlines, but history shows that at times like this the strongest airlines become stronger. That is why we will continue to invest for the long term success of the business, establishing even stronger market positions, delivering excellent customer service and establishing new revenue opportunities for the future."
|Outlook||Previous guidance at Q3||Revised Outlook|
|H2 capacity growth||c. +6.1%||+5.8%|
|Q4 revenue per seat (constant currency)||No specific Q4 guidance provided. -7.5% on 65% of Q4 seats booked (with risk to the down side due to Nice and Turkey)||-8.7%|
|FY cost per seat ex fuel (constant currency)||c. -1.0%||c-1.1%|
|H2 unit fuel cost1||£75 million - £85 million favourable||£75 million - £80 million favourable|
|H2 exchange rate movements||Up to £45 million adverse||c.£55 million adverse|
|Full year pre–tax profit||n/a||£490 million to £495 million|
|EASYJET PASSENGER STATISTICS FOR SEPTEMBER 2016 Month ending||September 2016||September 2015||Change|
|Load Factor 4||91.1%||93.1%||(2.0)pp|
|Rolling 12 months ending||September 2016||September 2015||Change|
|Load Factor 4||91.6%||91.5%||0.1pp|
1. Unit fuel calculated as the difference between latest estimate of FY’16 fuel costs less FY’15 fuel cost per seat multiplied by FY’16 seat capacity
|Fuel requirement||US Dollar requirement||
|Full year ending 30 September 2016||88%||86%||100%||87%|
|$811 / metric tonne||$1.61||€1.23||CHF1.46|
|Full year ending 30 September 2017||81%||74%||82%||71%|
|$617 / metric tonne||$1.52||€1.35||CHF1.41|
JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com