Ryanair avoids trouble with successful profit

Ryanair, Europe’s largest low fares airline, today announced record half year profits of 329 million Euors (£220m).

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Ryanair traffic grew by 23% to 22.1m passengers, yields increased by 9% as total revenues rose by 33% to €1.256bn. Unit costs increased by 7.5% as fuel costs rose by 42% to €337m. Despite these significantly higher fuel costs, Ryanair’s after tax margin for the half year rose by one point to 26% as half year net profits increased by 39% to €329m.

British Airways, contrast also blamed fuel prices, but said the recent tightening of airport security cost it £100m in its second quarter results ending September 30, instead of the £40m it originally thought.

Willie Walsh, British Airways' chief executive, said: "Given the significant impact of the security disruptions, estimated at a cost of some £100 million, these are good results. Despite the extremely difficult operational environment, we have delivered improved revenue.”

But it also hinted at technology based plans to focus on customer service, saying it will enhance its website, ba.com to make it easier for customers to book online and get information about travel plans.

“It was an invaluable tool during the disruption in August because it gave hundreds of thousands of our customers quick and easy access to the very latest news,” said Walsh.

Excluding the £108m BA Connect write-down, the operating profit for the quarter was £240m and £451m for the half year giving an operating margin of 10.4% and 9.7% respectively. The pre tax profit was £282m for the quarter and £477m for the half year.

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