London: British low-cost airline EasyJet forecast on Wednesday that annual profits would rise by almost 14 percent, buoyed by demand for beach holidays in Europe.
Shares surged after EasyJet predicted pre-tax profit would grow to between £620 million and £660 million ($969 million and $1.03 billion, 885 million euros and 942 million euros) in its 2014/2015 financial year to the end of September.
That compared with £581 million in the company`s previous fiscal year, EasyJet said in an upbeat statement on its third quarter or three months to the end of June.
"EasyJet`s strategy continues to deliver, in particular with good performance in the UK and beach routes across Europe," said Chief Executive Carolyn McCall in the trading update.
She added: "Our Q3 performance means that for the full year EasyJet will grow revenue, profits and dividends."
In reaction to Wednesday`s news, EasyJet shares rallied 4.14 percent to 1,735 pence, bucking broader falls on London`s benchmark FTSE 100 index.
"EasyJet shares are flying above the FTSE storm clouds this morning, bouncing back from yesterday`s 3.0-percent sell-off as investors get on-board with a better than expected Q3 trading statement," said Mike van Dulken, head of research at trading firm Accendo Markets.
Most London stocks meanwhile sank Wednesday, in line with other European indices, after Wall Street losses and disappointing results from US technology giants Apple, Yahoo and Microsoft.