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EasyJet's first quarter revenue was largely flat despite effects from the terror attacks in Paris and Tunisia, the budget airline company reported on Tuesday (26 January). The company remains upbeat about its full year results and expects to meet its profit forecast.
Sales slid by 0.1% to £930m (€1,216, $1,321) and revenue per seat fell 3.7% over the quarter ended 31 December. The last two months of the quarter saw a decline of "high single digits" because of terror attacks.
An 8.1% increase in the number of seats filled would have lifted EasyJet's sales but the company's results were weighed down by customers' fears of travelling as a result of the terror attacks.
The company has reported a rise in forward bookings and is positive about the following quarters. That is why EasyJet is its profit guidance of £738m.
The challenging tourism environment could spell trouble for EasyJet, which operates with narrow margins because of its low prices. CEO Carolyn McCall underlined the company's mission to keep costs low.
"EasyJet's excellent customer proposition combined with low oil prices has allowed it to offer lower fares which has driven an 8% increase in passenger numbers in the first quarter," McCall said.
"The EasyJet customer-centric strategy of giving passengers low fares to primary airports continues to be executed well. This year we will consolidate that with a relentless focus on cost reduction which is already delivering."
Terrorist attacks such as those in Sousse, Tunisia in June and Paris in November have impacted the tourism industry. Following the suspected terror attack on a Russian Metrojet over Sinai in October 2015, EasyJet was forced to temporarily cancel all flights to Egyptian tourism hotspot Sharm el-Sheikh.