Ryanair records annual profit of €1.43bn

Ryanair Group CEO Michael O'Leary. Photo: Getty© Corbis via Getty Images

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Budget airline Ryanair has revealed it swung to an annual profit of €1.43billion (£1.24billion) after a bounce back in travel demand and higher air fares.

The Dublin-based carrier’s profit haul for the 12 months to March 31 compares with a net loss of €355million (£309million) the previous year and comes after a 74pc surge in passengers to 168.6million.

It said air fares jumped 10pc on levels seen before the pandemic struck.

Ryanair flagged cost pressures over the year ahead, with its fuel bill expected to surge by more than €1billion (£869 million) due to higher oil prices.

The firm said it was “cautiously optimistic” it can grow profits modestly over the year ahead as it expects the ongoing recovery in travel and higher fares to help offset the fuel bill hit.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “To date, summer 2023 demand is robust and peak summer 2023 fares are trending ahead of last year.

“First-quarter fares, which benefited from a strong Easter in April – and a very weak previous year comparable due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – will be significantly higher than the first quarter of 2022-23.”

He added: “Despite ongoing uncertainty over the timing of Boeing deliveries, almost 15% unhedged fuel, limited second-quarter visibility and zero second-half fare visibility (normal at this time of year), we are cautiously optimistic that 2023-24 revenue will grow sufficiently to cover our one billion euro higher fuel bill and still deliver a modest year-on-year profit increase.

“This guidance remains heavily dependent upon avoiding adverse events during 2023-24, such as the war in Ukraine or further, repeated, Boeing delivery delays.”