Belfast Telegraph

Ryanair reports drop in profits to £890m but traffic up by 7%

Fare decline: Michael O’Leary
Fare decline: Michael O’Leary

By Alexander Britton

Ryanair's full-year profits have fallen 29% to €1.02bn (£890m), the company said.

The company saw traffic growth of 7% and a decline in fares of 6% in the year to March 31 2019.

Revenues at the low-cost airline grew 6% to €7.56bn (£6.6bn) over the same period.

The company has cut routes from Belfast International Airport, reducing its London Stansted and Manchester links from three and two times daily, to twice weekly services. It has also cut three routes to Poland and a Malta flight. Around eight other routes remain.

Michael O'Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, said he is expecting "broadly flat group profits" into the financial year ending in 2020 - when their reporting will include Lauda in the consolidated Ryanair Group - but this is dependent on "no negative Brexit developments".

The company said: "Assuming revenue per passenger (RPP) growth of 3%, we are guiding broadly flat group profits.

"This will range from €750m (£660m) if RPP rises 2%, up to €950m (£830m) if RPP rises 4%.

"This guidance is heavily dependent on close-in peak summer fares, H2 prices, the absence of security events, and no negative Brexit developments."

The company also said it had delayed the delivery of five Boeing 737-Max aircraft until winter - with no meaningful cost benefit from the delivery expected until the financial year ending in 2021.

It said: "We continue to have the utmost confidence in these aircraft which have 4% more seats, are 16% more fuel efficient and generate 40% lower noise emissions."

Two Boeing 737-Max aircraft crashes - one in Ethiopia in March and another in Indonesia in October - killed 346 people, leading to the aircraft being temporarily grounded.

Mr O'Leary said: "Short-haul capacity growth and the absence of Easter in Q4 led to a 6% fare decline, which stimulated 7% traffic growth to over 139 million (142 million guests including Lauda)."

Belfast Telegraph