Ryanair share price rises as it hikes profit forecast and lands 200 new planes

 
Guy Bentley
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hares in budget airline Ryanair opened nearly two per cent higher after it posted pre-tax profits of €907m (£709m) for the half-year ended 30 September, a substantial rise on the €685m (£535.5m) the company enjoyed last year.

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Passenger numbers in the first half rose four per cent to 51.3m and revenue climbed nine per cent. The average fare rose five per cent to €54.

The all-round good news for the airline has led the company to revise its full-year net profit target to between €750m and €770m, from its previous guidance of €650m.

The company's unit costs dropped two per cent thanks to the plummeting price of Brent crude. The low-cost airline added that it has signed an agreement for 200 Boeing 737-MAX 200 "Gamechanger" aircraft. The new planes come fitted with eight extra seats and more leg room.

Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary, said:

We are pleased to report this significant increase in H1 profits. While partially due to the presence of Easter in Q1 and a weak prior year comparable, we have also enjoyed a strong summer thanks to our strategy (announced Sept. 2013), of raising forward bookings and improving our customer experience which has delivered higher load factors and yields.

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