Profit boost sends Ryanair shares soaring
SHARES in Ryanair jumped to a two-year high yesterday after the no-frills airline said it made more profit than expected in the past 12 months. Profit after tax was "not less than" €310m, Ryanair said yesterday following the end of the airline's financial year.
Ryanair, which has a history of besting its own downbeat forecasts, had previously forecast profit of €275m.
Profit was bolstered by stronger-than-expected passenger bookings and higher average fares, the airline said. Earlier this week, Ryanair's former takeover target, loss-making Aer Lingus said operations had improved in the first quarter of 2010, though it was difficult to make forecasts for the rest of the year.
"The situation for airline traffic is improving, and is improving faster than we had been thinking," said Brian Pearce, chief economist for the International Air Transport Association. "At the moment it's looking good."
Shares in Ryanair jumped as much as 8.7pc during trading in Dublin. The shares closed up 29c, or 7.9pc at €3.97.
The stock has gained 20pc this year, valuing the carrier at €5.9bn. The carrier is scheduled to announce full-year earnings in June.
"Momentum with the airline looks to be quite strong," said Stephen Furlong, an analyst at Davy Stockbrokers.
"While things are still difficult for the consumer, they seem to be in a better place now than they were last year."