Easyjet cuts its forecast for first-half losses

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Last Updated at 17 Apr 2014, 11:29 ET *Chart shows local time easyJet intraday chart
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Easyjet has said its six-month losses will be lower than previously forecast.

The low-cost airline is predicting losses for the six months to the end of March of between £110m and £120m, down from its previous forecast of £140m to £160m. In the first half of the previous year, it lost £153m.

Easyjet saved money because a mild winter meant there was less disruption to flights.

The airline also announced a 10% increase in revenue per seat.

Its shares rose after the announcement, closing 7.5% higher.

"We continue to expect the environment for airlines to remain difficult," said Carolyn McCall, chief executive of Easyjet.

"We will continue to deliver for our customers, focus on operational excellence, manage our costs tightly and allocate our capacity to the markets that will deliver the best financial return."

The company added that the improvement in losses, compared with last year, came despite a £100m increase in its fuel bill.

"We continue to be impressed with Easyjet's operational and financial performance in a difficult market environment and it is emerging as a very clear winner in the aviation market in Europe," said Wyn Ellis, analyst at Numis.

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