Ryanair share price gains over 5pc on profit guidance boost
Airline invokes warning of former Fed boss Alan Greenspan against 'irrational exuberance'
RYANAIR has announced a first quarter net profit of €197m, boosted by strong Easter traffic.
Shares in the firm gained over 5pc this morning after the airline also increased a special dividend to be paid in the last quarter of next year to €520m or 37.5c per share and raised its profits forecast for the full-year to €620m-€650m, from a previous guidance of €580m - €620m.
However, the airline also warned that the first quarter figures were distorted by this particularly strong period with no corresponding holiday in the prior year.
It also invoked the caution of former US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan against "any irrational exuberance in what continues to be a difficult economic environment."
Traffic grew to 24.3m as load factors rose by 4pc points to 86pc. Average fare rose by 9pc, boosted by a strong Easter period, while total revenues were up 11pc to €1.496bn. Unit costs fell by 2pc, excluding fuel they rose by 1pc, Ryanair said.
“First quarter profits were boosted by a strong Easter (but are somewhat distorted by the absence of Easter on the prior year quarter one)," said Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary.
"The earlier launch of our summer schedule and actively raising our forward bookings has delivered a 4pc increase in load factor to 86pc and enabled us to better manage close-in yields.
"Ancillary revenues rose 4pc in line with traffic growth, as airport and baggage fee reductions were offset by the rising uptake of allocated seating," he added.