Buoyant EasyJet predicts record full-year pre-tax figure

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UK budget carrier EasyJet is raising its full-year pre-tax profit forecast to a record level after a better-than-expected revenue performance in late summer.

It has hiked its forecast to £310-320 million ($500-515 million) for the year ending 30 September 2012, up from £280-300 million.

In a trading statement ahead of disclosing its full results for the year, the airline says it benefited from strong demand from London after the end of the Olympic Games, and expects revenue per seat to improve by 5-5.5% over the previous year.

EasyJet says the "abnormally low" level of disruption from the Games and other threats, such as industrial action, meant the carrier's second-half costs stayed within previous guidance range.

But the economic uncertainty in Europe has also made the airline cautious over expectations in 2013. It predicts its unit fuel bill will rise by £30-40 million, while exchange-rate changes will have a £40-60 million negative impact.

Airport costs will rise by £80 million next year, owing to "significantly above-inflation rises" in Spain and Italy.