easyJet (LON:EZJ) (948.5p and 4.1% of JIC portfolio). Passenger stats for January 2013 show continuation of the strong trend seen over the last year or so. In January the load factor was 84.4% compared to 81.9% in January 2012 and 78.9% in January 2011. So not only is easyJet filling up more of the plane but given its business model of charging more as the plane fills up it should be having a positive impact on profits. Anecdotally I admit but I think that the Company is managing to charge more for summer flights than in 2012.
This trend of improving load factors has been going on for some time now so the comparatives will get increasingly difficult. However, as the planes get fuller it can charge more and also in 2013 we will see the first year of the benefit of allocated seating which is estimated to add £50m to profits.
Conclusion: In the 24th January 1st Quarter trading statement the Company said it expected to contain the first half loss before tax to between £50 million and £75 million compared to the £112 million loss reported in the first half 2012. I suspect that the result will be at the more optimistic end of that range. On 12.5x consensus earnings forecasts for the year ending September 2013, for earnings growth of >30%, I think the shares have further to go. Happy Holder!
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