Michael O'Leary on cloud nine as Ryanair's profits hit £398m

Budget airline Ryanair has smashed targets with record pre-tax profits in the second quarter, up 23% on last year.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

We hope Ryanair's chief financial officer Howard Millar danced a little jig when he downed his calculator and realised profits were up over £70m on last year. Yet again, Ryanair has outstripped market expectations. O'Leary has now revised his annual profit forecasts up 10% telling the Today programme this morning that, hell with the recession, he plans to double the size of the airline over the next decade.

Despite the spiralling cost of fuel and falling consumer confidence, Ryanair has managed to increase revenues per customer and achieve robust growth. It's not hard to see how: between 'boarding pass reprint' fees, luggage charges, hefty currency conversion rates and additional costs for paying by credit or debit card, the airline is in danger of losing its 'budget' moniker. Whole websites have been created to help hapless passengers avoid paying up to £2,500 extra (based on a family of six) in hidden fees.

Those extortionate paninis and 'sorry, your hand-luggage is the wrong shape' penalties have really paid off. 'Ryanair's balance sheet remains one of the strongest in the industry with €3.1bn in cash despite returning €931m to shareholders over the past three years,' announced O'Leary today. But don't expect any freebies on your next trip to Mallorca to thank you for your loyalty and frequent flights. Instead, Ryanair's parsimonious CEO is grounding up to 80 aircraft over the winter to cut on fuel expenditure.

Despite our jibes, Ryanair remains one of the cheapest ways to fly. While the Ryanair tagline 'the world's favourite airline' may be over-egging the pudding somwhat, there's little doubt that the firm will post bumper results in the next quarter, reduced fleet or no, with cash-strapped passengers jetting off to warmer climes in a daze of neon yellow and royal blue.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Leading from a distance: Remote working for the C-suite

Leadership lessons video panel: Chris Hirst, CEO of Havas Creative; Matt Peers, COO of Linklaters;...

There’s little point saving your business if you let your market die

Opinion: The nature of the coronavirus pandemic demands we look out for each other.

C-suite and furloughed

Use this as an opportunity to take a breath and get some perspective, says this...

Books for CEOs: Daniel Goleman, Jack Welch, Nelson Mandela

Beaverbrooks CEO Anna Blackburn shares her reading list.

What happens next: COVID-19 lessons from Italian CEOs

Part I: Marco Alvera, chief executive of €15bn Lombardy-based energy firm Snam, on living with...

Coronavirus communications: Dos and don'ts

Uncertainty and isolation make it more important than ever to be seen, to be heard...