Ryanair Posts Q3 Loss On Weak Fares

by Ike Obudulu Posted on February 4th, 2019

Ryanair Holdings plc (RYA.L,RYAAY) reported that its loss attributable to equity holders of parent for the third-quarter was 66.1 million euros or 0.0580 euros per share compared to profit of 105.6 million euros or 0.0885 euros per share in the prior year.

Ryanair reported a net loss of 20 million euros, excluding Lauda. traffic grew 8% to 33 million was offset by a 6% decline in ave. fares due to excess winter capacity in Europe. Stronger ancillary revenue growth (+26%) was offset by higher fuel, staff and EU261 costs, the company said.

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said, “While a €20m loss in Q3 was disappointing, we take comfort that this was entirely due to weaker than expected air fares so our customers are enjoying record low prices, which is good for current and future traffic growth. While ancillary revenues performed strongly, up 26% in Q3, this was offset by higher fuel, staff and EU261 costs.”

Quarterly revenue increased 9% to 1.53 billion euros, up 1% per guest, due to a strong performance in ancillary revenue and increased traffic stimulated by a 6% decline in average fares to under 30 euros due to excess short-haul capacity in Europe. Ryanair Labs continues to drive ancillary revenue.

The company said it will take delivery of first 5x B737 MAX “gamechanger” aircraft from April. The fiscal year 2019 is a year of investment in our people, systems and business as we prepare to grow to 200 million guests p.a. by 2024.

As announced on 18 January, Ryanair’s fiscal year 2019 profit guidance will be in a range of 1.0 billion euros – 1.1 billion euros, due to lower winter fares; Stronger traffic growth, up 9% to 142 million; Stronger ancillary sales as more customers choose lower cost optional services; and slightly better than expected seonc-half unit cost performance, mainly lower unhedged oil prices.

The guidance excludes (exceptional) start-up losses in Lauda, which have been cut from 150 million euros to 140 million euros primarily on the back of better than expected unit cost performance during the winter period.

Michael O’Leary has agreed a new 5 year contract as Group CEO, which secures his services for the group until at least July 2024. His agreement to commit for a 5 year period is welcome, and will give certainty our shareholders and allow him to guide the individual CEO’s of Ryanair, Laudamotion and Ryanair Sun.

The Board had previously committed to setting out its succession plan before the September 2019 AGM. In that regard, David Bonderman (Chairman) and Kyran McLaughlin (SID) have agreed to lead the Board for 1 more year until summer 2020, but neither of them wishes to go forward or be considered for reelection at the September 2020 AGM. In order to ensure a smooth succession, Stan McCarthy who joined the Board in May 2017, has agreed to take up the position of Deputy Chairman from April 2019, and will transition to Chairman of the Board in summer 2020.

Shares of Ryanair Holdings Plc (RYA.L,RYAAY) were losing around 5 percent in the early morning trading in London after the low-cost airline reported a loss in its third quarter, compared to prior year’s profit due to weaker than expected air fares. Revenues, however, were higher. Further, for the month of January, Ryanair reported higher passenger traffic.

Regarding Brexit, the company noted that the risk of a “no deal” Brexit remains worryingly high. The company said it has taken all necessary steps to protect Ryanair’s business in a no-deal environment.

Over the next 12 months, Ryanair will move to a group structure, and Michael O’Leary will become Group CEO. A replacement CEO of Ryanair DAC, who will work alongside the CEOs of Laudamotion and Ryanair Sun, will be appointed later this year.

The company noted that O’Leary has agreed a new 5 year contract as Group CEO, which secures his services for the group until at least July 2024. His agreement will allow him to guide the individual CEO’s of Ryanair, Laudamotion and Ryanair Sun, the company noted.

Regarding the results, O’Leary said, “While a €20m loss in Q3 was disappointing, we take comfort that this was entirely due to weaker than expected air fares so our customers are enjoying record low prices, which is good for current and future traffic growth. While ancillary revenues performed strongly, up 26 percent in Q3, this was offset by higher fuel, staff and EU261 costs.”

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