EasyJet's revenue up 10.5% in third quarter
easyJet has posted better than expected results in its first half results

Budget carrier easyJet trimmed six-month losses to £41m compared with £47m for the same period last year - tangible results of a cost cutting mission coupled with a rise in passenger revenues.

The airline reported a 6.3% revenue increase for the period to £1.7bn. It reduced pretax losses to £53m for the six months up until March 31st, from £61m for the previous half-year period

In March, easyJet had predicted a first-half pretax loss of between £55m to £65m. It said the forthcoming vacation season should see it in good stead for the next set of results.

Carolyn McCall, chief executive officer, easyJet, said: "There continue to be a number of attractive opportunities for easyJet to grow profitably in Europe and we look forward to making further progress in the second half of the year."

"The results reflect our on-going progress against our strategic priorities, and demonstrate the structural advantage easyJet has against both legacy and low cost competition in the European short haul market."

The airline said net revenue per seat had increased by 2.6%, which "has been achieved against a strong prior year performance which benefitted from the shift in Easter from April to March.

"Revenue initiatives, including yield management of bag charges, and the annualisation of allocated seating have driven the increase in revenue per seat," it said.

Looking ahead, easyJet expects to grow capacity this summer by 6.7%, with a third of this coming from the acquisition of Flybe slots of Gatwick, which easyJet purchased last year for £20m.

The airline's stock price fell nearly 6% to 1,627.00p despite the better-than-expected results.