Ryanair reports 34% increase in full-year profit to €1.92 billion

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Ryanair Holdings plc announced a significant 34% rise in full-year profit after tax (PAT) to €1.92 billion, despite challenges such as Boeing delivery delays and rising fuel costs. The airline achieved a 9% increase in traffic, transporting 183.7 million passengers, a 23% increase over pre-COVID levels. This growth was supported by Ryanair’s industry-leading cost base and increased revenues, offsetting higher fuel expenses due to hedged oil prices rising from $65 per barrel in FY23 to $89 per barrel in FY24.

Financial Highlights

MetricMar. 2023Mar. 2024Change
Customers168.6m183.7m+9%
Load Factor93%94%+1pt
Revenue€10.78bn€13.44bn+25%
Operating Costs€9.20bn*€11.38bn+24%
PAT€1.43bn*€1.92bn+34%

* Includes exceptional items

Key Achievements and Initiatives

  1. Traffic and Revenue Growth:
    • Traffic grew by 9% to 183.7 million.
    • Revenue per passenger increased by 15%, with average fare up 21% and ancillary revenue up 3%.
    • Total revenue rose by 25% to €13.44 billion.
  2. Cost Management:
    • Despite a 32% rise in the fuel bill to €5.14 billion, operational costs increased by 24% to €11.38 billion, reflecting higher staff costs and Boeing delivery delays.
    • Ryanair’s competitive cost base remains a significant advantage.
  3. Fleet Expansion:
    • Ryanair had 146 Boeing 737 MAX 8-200 in its fleet by the end of March 2024, with plans to increase this number despite Boeing delivery delays.
    • The fleet expansion supports growth plans to reach 300 million passengers by FY34.
  4. ESG Progress:
    • Ryanair received upgraded ESG ratings, including an ‘A-‘ climate rating from CDP and an ‘A’ rating from MSCI.
    • Continued focus on environmental efficiency with new aircraft and increased use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
  5. Shareholder Returns:
    • Announced a €700 million share buyback.
    • Paid an interim dividend of €0.175 per share in February, with a final dividend of €0.178 per share due in September.

CEO Commentary

Michael O’Leary, Group CEO, stated:

We are pleased to report strong growth in both profit and traffic despite challenges such as Boeing delivery delays and rising fuel costs. Our industry-leading cost base and increased revenues have enabled us to offset these pressures. We continue to make significant progress in our environmental initiatives and are on track to meet our ambitious 2030 goal for SAF usage.”

O’Leary also called for urgent reforms in Europe’s air traffic control (ATC) system to prevent flight disruptions and enhance environmental performance, criticising the EU Commission for inaction.

Outlook for FY25

Ryanair expects to grow traffic by 8% to 198-200 million passengers in FY25, contingent on timely Boeing deliveries. The airline plans to maintain its cost advantage over competitors, supported by substantial fuel hedge savings. While booking trends are positive, the company remains cautiously optimistic about achieving stable or slightly higher peak summer fares compared to last year.

Conclusion

Ryanair’s strategic focus on cost efficiency, fleet expansion, and environmental sustainability, coupled with strong financial performance, positions it well for continued growth and shareholder returns in the coming years.

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