Ryanair today announced that half-year profits to September 30, 2014 rose by 32% to €795m.
Traffic grew 4% to 51.3m customers, average fares increased 5%, and total revenues rose by 9% to €3.54bn. Unit costs fell by 2% (excluding fuel they rose by 3%).
The airline said load factors jumped by 4% points to 89%, due to a stronger Easter period and the success of Ryanair’s “Always Getting Better” customer experience improvements.
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."
Stephen Furlong of Davy, commented: Ryanair delivered another very strong quarter with Q2 net income of €598.2m (Davy €585.4m, consensus €602m), consistent with guidance, and yields up 3%. Forward guidance, specifically for the winter, is significantly stronger with full year profit guidance raised to €750-770m (from the upper end of the €620-650m range), driven by (i) very strong volume growth, +12% in Q3 and +20% in Q4; (ii) average fares falling between -3 to -5% in Q3 and between -6 to -10% in Q4; and (iii) ex-fuel unit costs now flat (down 4% including fuel).
Forward bookings from December to March continue to run on average 5% ahead of last year. Ryanair’s business model continues to deliver as it grows relentlessly in all segments of the market to 150m passengers by FY2024. Its balance sheet, market position, cost structure and incremental business model improvements make it a stand-out industry leader. We continue to rate Ryanair ‘Outperform’ as it incrementally takes profitable market share and generates positive free cash flow. We are likely to move to the mid-point of the net profit range (€760m, c.55c EPS) with c.60c EPS for FY2016.