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FTSE rises as flying EasyJet seizes on rivals' woes

FTSE rises as flying EasyJet seizes on rivals' woes

EasyJet (EZJ) has led the FTSE 100 higher, boosted by a jump in revenues as the budget airline group swept up business amid turbulence for rivals.

Shares in EasyJet jumped to the top of the FTSE 100, up 5.6% at £16.50, helping the UK blue-chip index rise 15 points to 7,731.

The airline group announced a 14.4% jump in revenue in the three months to the end of December, saying it had benefited from a reduction in capacity from competitors.

The airline industry was last year hit by the collapse of Monarch Airlines in the UK, while Germany's Air Berlin and Italy's Alitalia also fell into administration. Chief EasyJet rival Ryanair (RYA.I) was meanwhile forced to cancel flights in a dispute with pilots.

The news also buoyed British Airways owner International Airlines Group (ICAG), which rose 2.2% to 664.4p.

Among mid-cap stocks, Pets at Home (PETSP) surged 7.6% to 195.8p after the pet shop chain announced a 9.6% jump in third quarter revenues.

N Brown (BWNG) tumbled to the bottom of the FTSE 250, down 14.2% at 239.2p as the clothing retailer behind the JD Williams, Jacamo and Simply Be brands trimmed margin forecasts after spending heavily on promotions.

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