LONDON: Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe's biggest low-cost airline, posted a greater-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter profit as passenger traffic increased and the company won customers from British Airways Plc.
Net income was 32.1 million euros (US$39.8mil), or 4.2 cents a share, for the three months through March, compared with a loss of 3.3 million euros, or 0.4 cents, a year earlier, according to Bloomberg calculations. Revenue rose 44% to 321.1 million euros.
Chief executive Michael O'Leary was able to increase ticket prices an average of 2% as full-service airlines including British Airways and Deutsche Lufthansa AG added fuel surcharges of as much as US$11 a ticket.
Ryanair's passenger traffic increased as the Dublin-based company added flights to Spain and Germany.
“Most of our yield growth was due to multiple fuel surcharges imposed by the flag carriers on short-haul passengers, which have further widened the gap between their high fares and our low fares,” said O'Leary in an e-mailed statement yesterday.
“Ryanair's traffic growth and yields have benefited substantially from our refusal to impose fuel surcharges,” he added.
The results exceeded the 11 million euros median estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. They expected revenue to be 268.5 million euros.
Ryanair's full-year passenger count gained 19% to 27.6 million travellers, while the airline increased the number of available seats by 16%.
The fourth-quarter figure was calculated by subtracting the company's third-quarter numbers, published on Jan 31, from the full-year results. – Bloomberg