April 5, 2013 / 6:41 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-EasyJet sees first-half loss cut by Easter demand

LONDON, April 5 (Reuters) - British carrier easyJet said it would nearly halve its first-half loss, helped by Easter falling earlier than a year ago and strong bookings from customers wanting to escape recent cold weather in Britain and Northern Europe.

The budget airline said on Friday it now expects a pretax loss for the six-months to end-March, a traditionally loss-making period, of between 60 million and 65 million pounds ($91-99 million), narrowing its previous guidance of between 50 million to 75 million pounds.

It made a pretax loss of 112 million pounds for the same period a year ago.

The company said revenue per seat grew by about 8.5 percent, better then the 6 to 8 percent it previously expected, driven by strong bookings in the run up to Easter.

Capacity on its flights rose by about 3.3 percent, slightly short of its 3.5 percent forecast, it said, due to the bad weather causing a higher-than-expected number of cancellations.

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