BUSINESS LIVE: EasyJet winter losses narrow; Hipgnosis faces takeover; Deliveroo returns to order growth

The FTSE 100 will open at 8am. Among the companies with reports and trading updates today are EasyJet, Hipgnosis Songs Fund, Deliveroo, National Grid, Rentokil, Home REIT, Dunelm and AJ Bell. Read the Thursday 18 April Business Live blog below.

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French owner of Gatwick to buy majority stake in Edinburgh Airport

The French owner of Gatwick Airport is to buy a majority stake in Edinburgh Airport for around £1.27billion.

Vinci has agreed to buy a 50.01 per cent stake from Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), the owner since 2012. GIP will retain the remaining 49.99 per cent stake.

In 2019 Vinci bought a 50.10 per cent stake in Gatwick Airport, with investors led by GIP retaining the rest.

EasyJet winter losses narrow

EasyJet narrowed its winter losses by around £50million compared to the same time last year, and demand for flights and holidays ahead of its key summer season is building, the airline said on Thursday.

The airline’s improved first half fortunes were driven by 8 per cent passenger growth in the second quarter and 8 per cent growth in revenue per seat.

Consequently, the group expects to post a headline loss before tax of £340million to £360million.

Boss Johan Lundgren said:

‘The importance that consumers place on travel coupled with easyJet’s trusted brand has driven good demand for our flights and holidays. Our growth and focus on productivity have reduced winter losses by more than £50 million.

‘We have further enhanced our network with the launch of new bases in Alicante and Birmingham providing greater choice for consumers across Europe.

‘We are well set up operationally for this summer season where we expect easyJet to be one of the fastest growing major airlines in Europe and take more customers on easyJet holidays than ever before.’