There is the cliche of blue skies ahead for Ryanair, after the budget airline raised the upper limit of its profit expectations to €650m from €620m. Shares climbed on the news and were up 4.6 per cent at pixel time.
The revision comes, Ryanair said, because of expectations that full-year traffic will rise by 5 per cent to 86m passengers. The statement read:
In summary, we now expect full year traffic to grow by 5% to 86m. This increased traffic and higher load factors, combined with a slightly improved performance on unit costs allows us to cautiously raise our full year profit after tax guidance (from the previous range €580m to €620m) to a range of €620m to €650m. However this guidance, which is about a 21% rise over last year’s net profit, is heavily, reliant upon the final outturn for H2 yields over which we currently have zero visibility.
Ryanair is the second biggest airline in Europe by passengers flown (chartered and scheduled, figures for 2013 full year), and flew 24.3m passengers in Q1, according to the company report. The leading airline is Germany's Lufthansa, while EasyJet, the Ryanair nemesis, sits in 5th place 20m passengers back.
Ryainair has also been fighting to improve customer experience. It has improved cabin luggage allowance and implemented allocated seating. To the relief of some, it's punctual-landing jingle has also been changed.
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:
Q1 profits were boosted by a strong Easter (but are somewhat distorted by the absence of Easter on the prior year Q1). The earlier launch of our summer schedule and actively raising our forward bookings has delivered a four per cent increase in load factor to 86% and enabled us to better manage close-in yields. Ancillary Revenues rose four per cent in line with traffic growth, as airport and baggage fee reductions were offset by the rising uptake of allocated seating.