Ryanair Q1 profit rises to €197m, as traffic grows 4%

Business | Mon 28 Jul | Author – Business & Finance

Ryanair announced today that net profit rose to €197m in Q1, an increase of 152% over last year. Traffic grew to 24.3 million as load factors rose by 4% points to 86%.

Average fare rose by 9%, boosted by a strong Easter period, while total revenues were up 11% to €1.496bn. Unit costs fell by 2%, excluding fuel that rose by 1%.

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said: “Q1 profits were boosted by a strong Easter (but are somewhat distorted by the absence of Easter on the prior year Q1). The earlier launch of our summer schedule and actively raising our forward bookings has delivered a 4% increase in load factor to 86% and enabled us to better manage close-in yields.  Ancillary revenues rose 4% in line with traffic growth, as airport and baggage fee reductions were offset by the rising uptake of allocated seating.

Ryanair’s four new bases at Athens, Brussels, Lisbon and Rome are performing strongly. “Our strategy to raise forward bookings continues to drive higher load factors and we expect to release our summer 2015 schedule in mid-September, some three months earlier than last year,” O’Leary added.

This winter Ryanair will open four new bases in Cologne, Gdansk, Warsaw and Glasgow as well as substantially increasing new routes and frequencies at Stansted and Dublin as the airline invests heavily in its network.

According to O’Leary: “We are overrun with growth offers from primary European airports whose incumbent flag and regional carriers continue to cut capacity and traffic. These new airports along with our existing 69 bases offer Ryanair significant growth opportunities as the first of our 180 new Boeing order delivers this September.  These new aircraft, with the benefit of the much weaker dollar will drive significant cost efficiencies over the next five years.”

Given the Q1 results Ryanair now expect full year traffic to grow by 5% to 86 million. This increased traffic and higher load factors, combined with a slightly improved performance on unit costs allows us to cautiously raise our full year profit after tax guidance (from the previous range €580m to €620m) to a range of €620m to €650m. However this guidance, which is about a 21% rise over last year’s net profit, is heavily, reliant upon the final outturn for H2 yields over which Ryanair currently have zero visibility.