Ryanair carries record 90.5m passengers
Ryanair carried a record 90.5 million passengers in the 12 months to the end of March - 11pc more than it did in the previous financial year as its reinvention continues to pay dividends.
Analysts described the performance as "very strong" and shares in the carrier rose as much as 1.8pc yesterday, valuing the company at €15.3bn. Shares in the airline have gained over 50pc in the past year.
Ryanair's load factor, a crucial measure of what percentage of available seats it filled, jumped to 90pc in March and stood at about 88pc for its financial year which ended last month. The March load factor was 10 percentage points higher than in March 2014.
It carried 6.67 million passengers last month, 28pc more than it did in March last year.
Ryanair chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said the surge in passenger numbers and load factor was a result of lower fares coupled with a stronger forward booking strategy and the positive impact of its 'Always Getting Better' campaign designed to win over customers with improved service and offerings.
Analyst Stephen Furlong at Davy Stockbrokers described the full-year performance by Ryanair as "exceptional".
Mr Furlong said that a key factor for Ryanair's financial quarter that just ended will be the yield, or the average price at which it sells its tickets.
They're expected to have fallen between 6pc and 8pc during the last quarter.
"It is apparent that Easter falling in early April has helped volumes and presumably yields in the quarter," said Mr Furlong.
Ryanair said earlier this year that it anticipated making profits of between €750m and €770m in the 12 months to the end of March.
Ryanair has previously predicted that it will carry over 100 million passengers in its current financial year as it takes delivery of additional aircraft.
Within a decade, Ryanair will be operating more than 500 aircraft compared to the more than 300 it has now.