Ryanair first quarter profits fall 21%

Ryanair (LON:RYA) revealed its annual results on Monday for its financial year to 31 March in which it posted a 29% fall in annual profits to €1.02 billion.

Amounting to €1.02 billion, its profit after tax for the financial year is down from the €1.45 billion figure from the year prior.

Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Dublin, the Irish low-cost airline has been battling with rising costs and overcapacity.

“As previously guided, Ryanair (excl. Lauda) reports a full year after tax profit of €1.02bn.  Short-haul capacity growth and the absence of Easter in Q4 led to a 6% fare decline, which stimulated 7% traffic growth to over 139m (142m guests incl. Lauda).  Ancillary sales performed strongly up 19% to €2.4bn, which drove total revenue growth of 6% to €7.6bn,” Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary commented on the results.

Ryanair also said that it has delayed the delivery of its first five Boeing 737-MAX aircrafts until Winter 2019. Delays in the delivery of the model, following its world wide grounding earlier this year, has caused Ryanair to cut capacity by roughly 1 million passengers – according to Reuters.

Its outlook for 2020 remains cautious on pricing. The airline said that traffic will grow 8% to 153 million. Assuming a revenue per pax growth of 3%, the Irish airline is guiding a broadly flat group profits. It has stressed, however, that its guidance is largely dependent on close-in peak summer fares, H2 prices, the absence of security events, and no negative Brexit developments.

Additionally, the low-cost airline said that it closed unprofitable bases in Bremen and Eindhoven, in addition to slashing aircraft numbers in Niederrhein, Hahn and the Canary Islands.

It highlighted that its rivals such as Wizz, Lufthansa and EasyJet also announced the closure of bases in recent months.

“We expect further consolidation and airline failures in winter 2019 and again into 2020 due to over-capacity, weaker fares, and higher oil prices particularly among those airlines who are significantly unhedged, or unable to hedge,” Ryanair said in its results.

Germany’s largest airline Lufthansa (ETR:LHA) also posted disappointing results earlier last month. It revealed a deeper loss for its first-quarter citing higher fuel costs.

EasyJet (LON:EZJ) warned just last week of its outlook in the second half of the financial year, pointing towards Brexit-related market uncertainty and economic fragility in Europe.