Business Irish

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Ryanair half yearly profits up 17pc

reported a 17pc increase in underlying net profits to €451.9m for the six months to September 30. Photo: Bloomberg News
reported a 17pc increase in underlying net profits to €451.9m for the six months to September 30. Photo: Bloomberg News

Ryanair revealed a 12pc hike in average fares and soaring ancillary revenues as it posted a double-digit rise in half-year profits today.

The low-cost carrier reported a 17pc increase in underlying net profits to €451.9m for the six months to September 30 and upped its guidance for its full-year performance.

Ryanair's half-year figures were boosted by a 10pc lift in passenger numbers and higher fares, but it said it also saw a 22pc leap in ancillary revenues, such as baggage fees, priority boarding and onboard drinks.

Ryanair said forward booking revenues for the winter were better than expected, which it forecast would see net profits for the full year of between €380m and €400m.

It had originally indicated a figure of between €350m and €375m.

The half-year surge in fares and passenger numbers helped Ryanair offset a 44pc increase in its fuel bill - although this was also partly due to Ryanair operating more and longer flights.

Average fares rose to €44, according to Ryanair, although chief executive Michael O'Leary added a note of caution.

He said: "Our outlook for the fiscal year remains cautious as we have little visibility on fourth-quarter yields."

The carrier said its bill to cover the cost of the volcanic ash cloud disruption earlier this year was now likely to be less than first feared, at €32m against €50m.

Half-year adjusted profits exclude the hit for the ash crisis, which when taken into account leave net profits at €424m.

Mr O'Leary said the group's half-year figures were "testimony to the robustness" of its low-cost model.

However, airlines across the board are seeing a marked recovery in air travel as the recovery takes hold.

British Airways last week returned to half-year profit for the first time in two years thanks to a bounce-back in business and premium traffic.

Later, Mr O'Leary said he expected Ryanair's fares - and air fares generally - to increase "over the next couple of years".

He added that charges for those who want to take checked-in bags on Ryanair flights would also go up.

Mr O'Leary said: "Charges will carry on going up until everyone gets the message that hold luggage is verboten."

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