Ryanair posted record profits of $1.57bn (£1.26bn) in its full year results, as it cashed in on rising fares and strong traffic recovery – but warned it may experience turbulence in the near future.
The low cost carrier flew a record 168.6m passengers, up 74 per cent, in the year ending March and said that it expects passenger demand to remain high over summer.
It forecast passenger numbers rising to 185m by the end of 2023 and further profit rises, but warned that this could be affected by high fuel prices, as well as air traffic controller strikes in France.
The results come as resurgent travel demand continues to bolster airlines post-pandemic recovery, with Ryanair one of the biggest beneficiaries.
Ryanair’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael O’Leary said: “This summer we will operate our largest ever schedule… capitalising on traffic restoration, and multi-year growth deals negotiated by our New Route teams.”
“Forward bookings and air fares currently into S.23 are strong and we continue to urge all customers to book early to avoid rising ‘close-in’ prices.”
Shares in the company rose by 1.69 per cent as of 10am this morning, following the announcement.
The airline said we remain “cautiously optimistic that FY24 revenue will grow sufficiently to cover our €1bn higher fuel bill and still deliver a modest year-on-year profit increase.”
However, it warned that “this guidance remains heavily dependent upon avoiding adverse events during FY24 such as the war in Ukraine or further, repeated, Boeing delivery delays.”
Earlier this month, the Dublin based carrier splashed out on 300 Boeing 737 max jets in a multi-billion dollar deal that made headlines, and followed a long dispute with the company over order delays.
The group said that it anticipates the Boeing order growing traffic to 300m per annum.
Olly Anibaba, analyst at Third Bridge :“Our experts expect Ryanair’s summer traffic to reach 115 per cent compared to 2019 levels. However, passenger traffic will be limited by Boeing delivery delays and issues with French air traffic control.”
“The real test for Ryanair will be the off-peak periods, especially in winter. To fill up their planes, Ryanair might have to offer discounts.”
“Ryanair and other airlines have signaled that the era of ultra-low fares might be coming to an end. They are preparing customers for potential price increases.”