2008-06-08 - Ryanair loss predictionRyanair reports record profits, but big decline ahead
Billigpreisairline sieht Verlustgefahr für 2009<br /> Ryanair announced a 20% increase in full year net profits after tax to a record 481m. Traffic grew by 20% to 51m, average fares (including bag charges) fell by 1% to 44, while revenues grew 21% to 2.714bn. Despite a unit cost increase of 2%, due to higher staff and airport costs, Ryanair delivered an industry leading after tax profit margin of 18%.
Average fares (which include baggage charges) fell by 1% as we opened new routes and bases to stimulate a 20% growth in traffic. Rising competitor fares and fuel surcharges helped to limit this winter fare decline to well above our -5% expectation. Ancillary revenues grew by 35%, almost double the rate of traffic growth. In-flight mobile telephony will be rolled out on a trial 14 aircraft from July 08 and will help us to grow ancillary revenues by allowing passengers to make and receive calls and texts on their own mobile phones during flight. Unit costs rose by 2% reflecting the unjustified doubling of airport charges by the BAA Stansted monopoly, higher charges at the Dublin Airport monopoly and a 6% increase in average sector length. Cost increases over the winter were limited by our decision to ground 7 aircraft at Stansted and we will extend this program next Winter by grounding up to 20 aircraft (approx. 10% of our fleet), mainly at Stansted and Dublin where high airport charges make it more profitable to ground aircraft rather than fly them through the Winter.
The over-riding concern for airlines, passengers and investors currently is the irrational price of oil. Currently we face a price of $130 a barrel. Our hedging program last year insulated us from the worst of these price rises. Unlike almost all of our competitors Ryanair remains committed to a policy of no fuel surcharges ever. We will continue to absorb these higher oil costs, even if it means that our profits will fall in the short-term, while we continue to deliver lower fares to almost 60 million passengers. The outlook for the coming fiscal year to March 2009 remains entirely dependent on fares and fuel prices. Based on forward bookings, we now believe it likely that average fares for the coming year will rise by approx. +5% and if oil prices remain at $130 per barrel, then we expect to accordingly breakeven for fiscal '09.