Ryanair has reported its first quarterly profit since December 2019, with the airline’s net debt falling from €2.28 billion at the end of March to €1.5 billion on 30 September.
The Ireland-headquartered low cost airline, which cited a rise in traffic as a reason for growth, made a profit of €225 million for the three months from July to September.
Ryanair also reported an overall after-tax loss of €48 million for the first six months of the current financial year – down from a €411 million loss for the same period last year.
Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary described the airline’s balance sheet as “one of the strongest in the industry”.
“The strength of Ryanair’s balance sheet ensures that the group can capitalise rapidly on the many growth opportunities that exist in Europe in the post Covid-19 recovery,” he said.
“Following a very badly disrupted Q1, which saw most Easter flights cancelled and a slower than expected easing of EU government travel restrictions in May and June, traffic rebounded in Q2 with the rollout of the EU digital Covid certificates in July.
“Ryanair was one of the very few airlines to use the Covid crisis to place significant aircraft orders, to expand our airport partnerships and to secure lower operating costs so that we can pass on even lower fares, post Covid, to our customers.
“Together with our airport partners, we are leading Europe’s traffic recovery and we plan to deliver accelerated growth in both traffic and jobs over the next five years.”
Ryanair carried 39.1 million passengers from March to September, a 128 per cent rise compared to the same period last year.
Heading into winter, O’Leary said the outlook for pricing and yields “will be challenging”.
“With the booking curve remaining very close-in, traffic recovery will require continuing price stimulation. This, coupled with the rising costs for the small unhedged balance of our fuel needs, means that visibility for the remainder of FY22 is very limited. It is therefore difficult to provide meaningful FY22 guidance.”
The airline expects to make an annual loss of between €100 and €200 million for the current financial year that ends on 31 March 2022.