HomeTravel NewsRyanair Targeting 10% Passenger Growth on Back of Near Record Profits     

Ryanair Targeting 10% Passenger Growth on Back of Near Record Profits     

Ryanair is hoping to grow passenger numbers to around 185 million – which would be a 10% annual increase – in its current financial year, after posting a bumper set of financial results for its latest year.

That is despite the prospect of a marked increase in average air fares over the coming months.

Over the 12 months to the end of March, Ryanair saw passenger numbers grow 74%, year-on-year, to 168.6 million people. Load factor – which measures exactly how full planes are – totalled 93% for the year, versus 82% in the previous year.

Ryanair’s new set of financial results show the airline group boosted revenues by 124% to just under €11bn, while it returned to full-year profit with a net after-tax profit of €1.43bn after a Covid-induced net loss of €355m in the preceding 12-month period.

The positive results were helped by a strong Easter booking period and Ryanair improving its market share across most of its European markets; particularly Ireland, Italy, Poland, and Spain.

Ryanair group chief executive Michael O’Leary said that the company is “cautiously optimistic” that revenue in its current year – up to March 2024 – will grow enough to cover a fuel bill that will be €1bn higher due to rising oil prices and still deliver a “modest” year-on-year profit increase.

Mr O’Leary said the positive guidance remains “heavily” dependent on the avoidance of adverse events such as a delay in the delivery of new aircraft and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“Our balance sheet is one of the strongest in the industry with a BBB+ credit rating and €4.7bn gross cash at year-end, despite an €850m bond repayment in March 2023.  Almost all the Group’s B737 fleet are owned and 99% are unencumbered, which significantly widens our cost advantage, as interest rates and leasing costs continue to rise for competitors,” Mr O’Leary said.

Geoff Percival
Geoff Percival
Geoff has worked in business, news, consumer and travel journalism for more than 25 years; having worked for and contributed to the likes of The Irish Examiner, Business & Finance, Business Plus, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Senior Times, and The Sunday Tribune.

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