Ryanair profits fall as operating costs

Ryanair profits fall as operating costs

DUBLIN - Agence France-Presse
Ryanair profits fall as operating costs

President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Ray Conner (R) and Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary share a light hearted moment as they pose during a signing ceremony at the 50th Paris Air Show, at the Le Bourget airport near Paris, June 19, 2013. REUTERS photo

Irish no-frills airline Ryanair said yesterday that first-quarter net profits fell by more than a fifth, hit by higher fuel and operating costs, but maintained its annual earnings forecast.

The company’s performance was also hit by the timing of Easter and French air traffic control strikes.
Earnings after taxes sank 21 percent to 78.1 million euros ($103.58 million) in the three months to the end of June, from 98.8 million euros in the same period of last year, Ryanair said in a results statement.

Revenues jumped 5.0 percent to 1.342 billion euros from 1.284 billion euros in the same period last year, while passenger numbers climbed 3.0 percent to 23.2 million passengers in the reporting period.

“As previously guided, higher fuel costs and the timing of Easter led to profits falling,” said chief executive Michael O’Leary in the earnings release.

“As ever, our outlook remains cautious for the full year as market conditions are tough with recession, austerity, high fuel costs and excessive government taxes impacting air travel demands and yields.

“While we expect full year traffic to grow 3.0 percent to 81.5 million, we still have no visibility over next winter’s yields, and on the basis that the summer yield weakness in close-in summer bookings does not continue, we see no reason to change our full year profit after tax guidance which remains at between 570 million euros to 600 million euros,” O’Leary added.