Ryanair lifts half-year profits forecast

RYANAIR’S profit hopes continued to climb today A December’s benign weather helped the airline deliver a 13% rise in quarterly revenues.

With fewer planes in operation over the winter, longer routes and increasing ticket prices across the industry, Ryanair said its average fare was up by 17%, a figure which includes the impact of passenger luggage fees.

The Dublin-based carrier, which has its main UK hub at Stansted, reported better-than-expected profits of 15million euros (�12.6million) for the three months to December 31 and said the figure for the year to March 31 should now hit 480million euros (�403.2million).

That is better than the 440million euros (�369.6million) predicted in November, which itself represented a 40million upgrade (�33.6million) on its previous estimate.

The quarterly improvement, which compares with widespread snow closures at airports during the previous December, came despite an 18% rise in fuel costs, which Ryanair said it offset by “aggressively” controlling costs.

However, it is braced for its fuel bill in the next financial year to increase by a further 350million euros (�294million), which it warns will pose a “significant cost challenge”.

It has paid for 90% of its fuel in the first half of the year at around 99 US dollars a barrel and at 100 US dollars for 70% of the second half.

Most Read

The airline carried 17 million passengers in the quarter to December 31, a fall of 2%, but revenues were up 13% to 746million euros (�626.6million). The profits figure of 15 millioneuros, compared with a loss of 10 million euros (�8.4million) a year earlier.

The company has pulled 80 of its aircraft to reduce winter losses amid the soaring fuel prices and cut traffic by 2% over the quarter.