Ryanair brings in 13% more in revenue as profit tops €650m

Airline worries about impact of airport charges and fuel costs

Ryanair predicted passenger numbers would grow by 3% to 81.5 million.

Ryanair predicted passenger numbers would grow by 3% to 81.5 million.

Tue, May 21, 2013, 12:00

Ryanair expects to carry close to 82 million passengers this year but believes airport charges and rising fuel costs will dampen profit growth.

The airline yesterday reported revenue growth of 13 per cent to €4.88 billion in the 12 months to end March – its financial year – on the back of a 5 per cent increase in passenger numbers to 79.3 million.

Excluding a once-off gain in its 2012 accounts, pretax profits were up 14 per cent at €651 million while its post-tax surplus grew 13 per cent to €569 million from €503 million.

Earnings per share increased 16 per cent to 39.45 cent this year from 34.10 cent in 2013.

The airline predicted yesterday that passenger numbers would grow 3 per cent to 81.5 million in its current financial year, but also said that rising oil prices, and higher European air traffic control and Spanish airport charges, would drive up costs.

Increased profit
As a result, it is predicting that profit after tax for its 2013/2014 financial year will increase to between €570 million and €600 million.

Growth this year will be at its slowest in the first six months, when the company predicted it would be at around 2 per cent – due in part to the fact that Easter was early and fell in the last quarter of the financial year just ended rather than in the first three months of the current year, as it did in 2012.

Along with lower yields and higher fuel costs, that is likely to mean net profit in the first quarter will be lower than last year.

Ryanair expects growth to hit 5 per cent in the second half, as it will ground few aircraft in the winter – up to 60 this year as opposed to 80 in 2012, it indicated. In the year under review, the airline’s fuel bill rose by €290 million to €1.9 billion, accounting for 45 per cent of its €4.2 billion costs.

Ryanair said yesterday it had hedged 90 per cent of this year’s fuel needs at $980 per tonne and had extended its normal policy anticipating 12 months ahead by booking 25 per cent of its 2015 requirements at $930 a tonne. It also hedged 90 per cent last year, at $1,011 a tonne.

Excluding fuel, costs rose 3 per cent. The company blamed “unjustified” increased air traffic control and airport charges in Spain and Italy.

Boeing order
It said yesterday that its recent order of 175 Boeing 737-800 aircraft would expand its fleet to more than 400 planes and increase passenger numbers to 100 million a year by 2018. It said it had taken advantage of low interest rates to get almost 70 per cent of its fleet financing at 3 per cent.

Ryanair reiterated its criticism of the European Commission’s decision to block the company’s bid to take over Aer Lingus, in which it has a 29 per cent share, as political. It also dismissed the UK Competition Commission’s review of its Aer Lingus stake as “time wasting”.