Ryanair has issued a trading statement raising its full year net profit guidance by 25% to €1.175bn-€1.225bn.
Ryanair reported half yearly traffic growth of 13% while fares were up over 2% and strong numbers reported during July and August are continuing into September for the airline.
Ryanair cautioned that its full year result remains heavily dependent on close-in bookings in Q3 (currently 30% sold) and Q4 (currently zero visibility).
Ryanair continues to expect downward pressure on fares and yields this winter as it grows strongly in major EU markets such as Germany, at a time when competitors will begin to benefit from lower oil prices as historic hedges unwind.
Ryanair also confirmed that it has successfully recovered all of the funds (less than $5m) that were the subject of a fraudulent electronic transfer to a Chinese bank in April.
Michael O’Leary, CEO, Ryanair said: “We have been surprised by the strength of close-in bookings and fares this summer during which we delivered record 95% load factors in both July and August while fares grew by over 2%, when we had expected them to be flat.”
We would caution that not all of this improvement is due to either our model or our management. As a ‘load factor active/yield passive’ airline we have clearly benefitted from favourable industry trends this summer including bad weather in northern Europe, stronger sterling rate encouraging more UK families to holiday in the Med, reasonably flat capacity across the EU industry and lower prices for our unhedged oil … we do not expect these favourable conditions will persist, and we would urge shareholders and analysts to avoid irrational exuberance while we continue to execute our very ambitious growth plans during what we expect to be very attritional and sustained fare wars across Europe this winter.”