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Bad Weather Good News For EasyJet

(c) Sky News 2012

The recent bad weather helped boost easyJet profits as consumers fled the rain and misery in Northern Europe by flying abroad.

Budget airline easyJet posted a 10.5% rise in third quarter revenues, in the three months to the end of June, and issued full-year profit guidance ahead of the analyst average of £272m.

Europe (Chicago Options: ^REURUSD - news) 's second-largest low-cost carrier saw revenues rise to £1.03bn, boosted by strong demand on beach routes in Europe.

It said seats flown grew by 7.5% to 17.9 million during the period, while passengers carried increased by 10.9% to 16 million.

EasyJet (Other OTC: EJETF.PK - news) 's chief executive Carolyn McCall, said: "The continued strong operational and financial performance of the business combined with the fall in the price of jet fuel means that profit before tax for the year ending September 30, 2012 is anticipated to be in the range of £280m to £300m.

"At current fuel and exchange rates, assuming no significant disruption."

The airline's load factor, a measure of how full its planes were, rose 2.8% to 89.1%, and its ancillary fees, including charges for baggage, rose by £1.20 to £11.81 per seat.

Last month easyJet said it planned to cut flights to and from Madrid by 20% and would no longer base crew and aircraft there from next winter after the location delivered the lowest returns of all its bases.

Earlier this year, its founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou suffered a setback after the airline's shareholders voted in favour of a multi-million pound pay package for its executives.

Sir Stelios was opposed to the deal, which means that 10 easyJet executives will receive shares worth around £8m in three years' time, provided they meet their business targets.