LONDON - British no-frills airline easyJet on Wednesday said pre-tax losses narrowed to £112 million (139 million euros, S$227 million) during its first half amid soaring fuel costs.
The result was in line with the airline's own prediction for a loss of £110-120 million during the six months to March 31, which is traditionally a slower period for easyJet due to it coinciding with the European winter.
EasyJet had posted pre-tax losses totalling £153 million during the group's first half in 2010/11, it noted in an earnings statement.
"Careful allocation of capacity, revenue initiatives and tight control of costs combined with exceptionally low levels of disruption enabled easyJet to reduce its first half pre-tax loss by £41 million to £112 million despite an £87 million increase in its unit fuel costs," the airline said.
EasyJet on Wednesday added that first-half net losses narrowed to £90 million from £114 million. Passenger numbers increased 5.4 per cent and revenue jumped 15.7 per cent to £1.465 billion.
"The economic environment remains uncertain," easyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall said in the company's earnings statement.
"However, easyJet's strategy of low fares and our focus on making it easy for our customers, aligned with tight cost management and strictly managed allocation of capital, ensures that easyJet is well positioned to deliver good results for shareholders."
EasyJet returned £196 million or 45.4 pence a share to shareholders in the reporting period.