Budget airline easyJet has significantly upwardly revised its forecasted profits for the 2005/06 financial year after posting improved passenger numbers.
Ahead of August's trading update, easyJet has revealed that it expects its full-year profits to rise between 40 and 50 per cent, compared to the initial forecasted increase of between ten and 15 per cent.
The revision has been made following encouraging passenger number statistics during June, which saw 2.99 million people travel with the airline, a 15.6 per cent increase compared with June 2005.
During the 12-month period ending June 2006, passenger numbers increased 13.5 per cent to 32.12 million, while revenue rose 21.8 per cent to £1.54 billion.
Andy Harrison, easyJet chief executive, explained that today's passenger figures were especially gratifying given the far-reaching effects of a late Easter and huge interest in the World Cup.
"We are pleased with another strong month continuing our recent trends. Despite hesitations about the effect of the World Cup on non-Germany travel, we have seen good performances throughout our network as we continue to execute our strategy and focus on rigorous management of performance on a route by route basis," he said.
Mr Harrison revealed that passenger revenue per seat for this financial year was expected to be between three per cent and four per cent higher, and that to cope with the demanding summer season, a number of aircraft would be sub-chartered on a short-term basis.
He added: "This will impact costs in the second half. We now expect unit costs excluding fuel [costs excluding fuel per seat flown] to fall by approximately three per cent for the full year compared with financial year 2005."