BUSINESS WEEK – The only way is up.

After being made Young Entrepreneur of the Year two weeks ago Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the high profile chairman of easyJet, is already celebrating.

The award seems to have come with perfect timing because as the world witnesses a global downturn in air travel easyJet expects to reveal healthy profits when it posts results on Monday.

The year has not been without its moments and Haji-Ioannou has had his attention distracted by other events. But with a strong team to back him, such as chief executive Raymond Webster and finance director Chris Walton, easyJet and its chairman appear to be set for more good news.

Perhaps the most controversial part of easyJets’ year was its reaction to the appalling attacks in New York and Washington on 11 September.

While the big carriers appeared to court disaster with mass redundancies and appeals to governments across the world, the budget airlines responded gamefully cutting prices and marketing aggressively to persuade passengers to fly again.

And by all accounts the effort, with easyJet at the forefront, succeeded.

Indeed easyJets chiefs went so far as to actively campaign to block state aid for other national carriers.

EasyJet also capitalised elsewhere. British Airways, faced with drastically falling demand gave up slots out of Gatwick, which were quickly snapped up by the easyJet management who managed to bag more than 10,000 Gatwick slots as well as taking over the Heathrow to Belfast run. Indeed so buoyant did things appear for easyJet that it confidently claimed that in September it broke its own record by revealing it had taken 28% more bookings than the same month the year before – a figure that works out at 150,000 more passengers.

In addition, easyJet added new planes to its fleet, a sure sign of confidence as it also haggles over flying out of Paris Orly.

For the year ending 30 September 2000, easyJet turned over #264m and made a pretax profit of #22.1m. Analysts and shareholders will be watching to see if easyJet performs as well or better.

More on easyJet:


Annual results to 20 September 2000

Turnover: #264m

Pretax profit: #22.1m

Market cap 18.10.200: #906m Executive directors

Ray Webster, chief executive; Chris Walton, finance director; Vilhelm Hahn-Petersen, operations director; Michael Cooper, commercial director; Keith McMann, airports director

Chairman’s CV

Stelios Haji-Ioannou

Son of Cypriot shipping magnate

Graduated from the London School of Economics with BSc in economics and City Business School with an MSc in shipping trade and finance.

Founded Stelmar Tankers in 1992 and easyJet in 1995 with listing in 2000.

EasyEverything followed in 1999 and in 2000.

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