EasyJet said it expected its first-half loss to be narrower than previously thought as cost control measures and better marketing help the British budget airline offset continuing weakness in the sector.

In a difficult environment for all airlines, improvements in revenue management combined with marketing and website initiatives have enabled EasyJet to take advantage as weaker competitors have left the market over the last couple of months, the Luton, southern England-based company said.

EasyJet's European peers have struggled to overcome high oil prices and sluggish demand in recent months, with low-cost airlines expected to pick up more business as struggling European consumers trade down.

EasyJet, Europe's second largest low-cost carrier, said on Monday it expects a first-half loss of 110 million to 120 million pounds ($174.5 million to $190.4 million), down from its previous estimates of a loss of 140 million to 160 million pounds.

The company added the increase in total revenue per seat at constant currency for the first half of the year will be better than expected at a little over 10 percent.

Shares in EasyJet closed at 461.4 pence on Friday in London, valuing the business at 1.8 billion pounds.

($1 = 0.6304 British pounds)

(Reporting by Adveith Nair; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)