Budget carrier Ryanair has announced annual profits of 569 million euros (£482 million), an increase of 13 per cent.
Despite higher fuel costs, the airline’s revenues rose to 4.88 billion euros (£4.13 billion) during the year up to March 31.
Passenger traffic grew 5 per cent to 79.3 million, despite the grounding of up to 80 winter aircraft, as Ryanair added 217 new routes to its roster. It now operates 1,600 routes.
During the same period, fuel costs increased by 18 per cent, or by 292 million euros (£247 million) and now makes up 45 per cent of total costs.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “Delivering a 13 per cent increase in profits and 5 per cent traffic growth despite high oil prices during a European recession is testimony to the strength of Ryanair’s ultra-low cost model.
“Fuel costs rose by over 290 million euros, and now represent 45 per cent of total costs. Excluding fuel, unit costs were up 3 per cent due to excessive and unjustified increases in Italian ATC, Eurocontrol and Spanish airport fees.”
Ryanair’s fleet increased by 15 aircraft during the tax year and it added seven new bases, namely: Chania, Greece; Eindhoven, Netherlands; Fez, Morocco; Krakow, Poland; Maastricht, Netherlands; Marrakech, Morocco; and Zadar, Croatia.
The carrier is forecasting net profits of between 570 million to 600 million euros (£483 million to £508 million) over the next year.
Earlier this year, Ryanair signed an agreement to purchase 175 new-generation B737-800 aircraft from Boeing (see online news, March 2013).
The deal will allow Ryanair to grow its all-B737-800 fleet to over 400 aircraft, and serve over 100 million passengers per year by 2019.
Around 75 of the aircraft will replace existing fleet, with the remainder being used to grow the carrier’s service “by about 5 per cent per annum over the next several years”.
For more information, visit ryanair.com.
Report by Graham Smith