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Budget airline easyJet trims loss forecast

March 26, 2012
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LONDON—Budget airline easyJet said Monday that its first half loss will be lower than previously forecast as a result of improved winter weather and additional charges for baggage and other items.

The carrier said it expects to post a pretax loss of 110 million pounds ($174 million) to 120 million pounds in the six months to March 31. That compares to the earlier forecast of a loss between 140 million pounds and 160 million pounds.

EasyJet shares rose 7 percent to 493.5 pence in early trading following the upbeat trading update.

EasyJet said the improvement came despite a 100 million pounds increase in fuel costs.

It credited a large part of the improvement on a 10 percent increase in revenue per seat, compared to the previous guidance of upper single digits. Thirty percent of seats available in the second half are already booked, in line with last year, easyJet said.

A less severe winter in Europe contributed to a low level of cancellations, and easyJet said de-icing costs were down by 18 million pounds during the period.

The airline will report first half results on May 9.

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