Hike in fuel-costs sends Ryanair profits into nosedive

Michael O'Leary's no-frills airline has suffered a 21% drop in profits

by Gabriella Griffith
Last Updated: 28 Aug 2013
Rising fuel costs have sent Ryaniar’s profits plummeting. Profits after tax at the budget airline have fallen by 21% to £67.3m despite a healthy 5% rise in revenues.

Fuel costs were jacked up by 6% during the period in question bringing fuel costs up to a whopping 47% of total costs.

The company’s poor results were made worse by the early timing of Easter, which placed its annual Easter profit boost in Ryanair’s fourth quarter results rather than its first.

The airline said the drop was expected and doesn’t affect its full-year profit expectations, which are between £492m and £518m.

‘Market conditions are tough with recession, austerity, high fuel costs, and excessive government taxes (most recently in Belgium) impacting air travel demand and yields,’ said chief executive Michael O’Leary.

Passenger figures for the airline are still on the rise despite the heat wave at home, according to O'Leary, having seen a 3% rise in the first quarter he still expects a similar full-year growth of 3% to 23.2 million bums on seats.

But the company’s habit of adding costs and charges for any addition service you might require on a flight, such as choosing a seat, having a bag and getting on the plane first have paid off. The biggest area of growth for the airline was ‘ancillary revenues’ ie our favourite fees. This leaped up 25% in the quarter.

The news comes following O’Leary’s decision last week to sell Ryanair’s 30% stake in rival Irish airline Aer Lingus. It had been an ambition of O’Leary’s to take control of the ailing airline, but after two failed attempts to increase its shareholding in the company, the outspoken chief exec gave up on his dream.

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