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Last Updated: Friday, 7 July 2006, 22:13 GMT 23:13 UK
Easyjet ups profit outlook by 50%
Easyjet plane
Easyjet is benefiting from increased passenger numbers
Easyjet has said that better sales will boost its 2006 profits by as much as 50%, an increase on its previous projection of a 10% to 15% rise.

The news sent the budget airline's shares up 6% in early Friday trading.

The Luton Airport-based firm said it expected revenue per seat to be 3-4% higher for the year.

It said revenues per seat for the three months to the end of June were 17% higher than a year earlier, helped by the timing of the Easter holiday.

Wage deal

"The improved revenue outlook leads us to increase our profit guidance," said Easyjet chief executive Andy Harrison.

The firm said it carried nearly 2.59 million passengers in June, a 15.6% rise from a year earlier.

Its load factor, the measure of how efficiency it fills its seats, was 87.6% against 85.6% in June last year.

Easyjet's upbeat trading update comes a month after it reached a new three-year wage deal for 1,500 cabin crew workers.

The deal - a 4% increase this financial year, 3.25% in 2007 and 3% in 2008 - was an improvement on Easyjet's initial 3.5% offer for this year.

Easyjet shares were 8.7% higher when markets closed in London.

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