Ryanair set to weather Brexit turbulence and hit full-year profit targets with record passenger numbers

Rebecca Smith
Ryanair is still soaring - despite its Brexit concerns
Ryanair is still soaring - despite its Brexit concerns (Source: Getty)

Despite a series of warnings over Brexit turbulence, Ryanair is set to post a solid set of full-year results tomorrow.

Analysts are forecasting net income of around €1.32bn (£1.15bn) in line with the guidance range, and full-year sales of €6.6bn from the Irish budget carrier.

Read more: Ryanair may halt flights between UK and Europe due to Brexit uncertainty

Robin Byde, analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, said the airline is on course for record passengers and profits, “despite stern warnings from the company about pre-Brexit trading”.

In February, Ryanair said it expected full-year unit costs, excluding fuel, to drop by four per cent compared with forecasts for a three per cent drop made after the first half of the year.

Beaufort Securities has said the key distinguishing factor for the airline is “its ability to continue lowering its unit costs, while delivering lowest passenger costs amongst its EU peers, at the time of traffic growth and when competitors are forecasting flat or rising costs”.

“This gap between Ryanair and its rivals should enable the group to maintain its current momentum and continue winning market share,” it said.

The airline is on track for further growth in the year ahead, with full-year analyst consensus for 2018 at €1.45bn.

It comes after Ryanair reported an eight per cent drop in pre-tax profits in its third quarter results in February, saying the slump in sterling post-Brexit vote had impacted its profits.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary has been a vocal critic of Brexit and has repeatedly warned of its impact on airlines. And finance director Neil Sorahan said last month that Ryanair could halt flights out of the UK "for a period of time" due to Brexit uncertainty hitting demand.

If there were no bilateral arrangements made, Sorahan said there could be "no flights for a period of time between UK and Europe".

Fellow budget carrier EasyJet has also been battling Brexit turbulence, feeling the hit from the weak pound, but it still managed to maintain full-year expectations when it published results earlier this month. It posted a £236m pre-tax loss in the six months to 31 March.

EasyJet boss Carolyn McCall said the second half of the year was likely to fly higher with summer bookings ahead of last year.

Read more: Ryanair boss criticises government for "lunatic optimism" over Brexit

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