Featured Image: Francesco Cecchetti/Airways

Ryanair Reports Record Annual Profit of €1.92 billion

DALLAS – Ryanair (FR) reported a strong year-end for FY24, with profits rising 34% to €1.92 billion. FR achieved this growth despite challenges from Boeing's delivery delays. Passenger traffic also increased by 9%, reaching 184 million, which accounts for a 23% growth compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The low-cost carrier's (LCC) success can be attributed to several factors. The Group’s industry-leading cost base and increased revenues reportedly helped to offset a significantly higher fuel bill. The airline's total revenue jumped 25% to €13.44 billion, driven by a 21% increase in average fare (€49.80) and a 12% rise in ancillary sales (€4.30 billion).

However, operating costs also grew by 24% to €11.38 billion, primarily due to a 32% increase in fuel expenses. To mitigate the impact of rising fuel costs, FR strategically hedged its fuel requirements, with over 70% of FY25 fuel secured at a price under $80 per barrel. This strategy is expected to generate cost savings of approximately €450 million.  

"Our FY25 fuel requirements are over 70% hedged at just under $80bbl and 80% of €/$ opex is hedged at $1.11.  This strong hedge position locks-in approx. €450m savings on fuel, and substantially insulates the Group from current fuel price volatility," said  Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's CEO.
9H-QBG Ryanair Boeing 737-800. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Fleet Growth

Boeing delivery delays impacted FR's planned growth for the year. The LCC had a fleet of 146 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft at year-end, falling short of the contracted deliveries by 23 aircraft. O'Leary further emphasized the continued collaboration with Boeing to accelerate deliveries.

Despite the delays, the LCC remains optimistic about the summer of 2024. The airline plans to operate its largest-ever summer schedule with over 200 new routes and five new bases.

This expansion is further fueled by strong travel demand across Europe and capacity constraints faced by competitors due to the grounding of Airbus A320 aircraft amid engine issues and delayed deliveries from manufacturers.

Ryanair Boeing 737. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Looking Ahead: Profitable Growth on the Horizon

Ryanair expects to grow traffic by 8% in FY25, reaching 198-200 million passengers, assuming Boeing deliveries return to normal levels. The airline's cost advantage is projected to widen further, even with a modest rise in ex-fuel costs.

The LCC has set an ambitious target of reaching 300 million passengers by FY34. This growth, combined with the strong balance sheet and industry-leading resilience, positions the LCC for a “decade of profitable growth,” according to O’Leary.

While the full-year FY25 outlook remains uncertain due to factors like peak season pricing and potential disruptions, FR is cautiously optimistic about the upcoming year. The airline's focus on cost control, strategic fuel hedging, and continued fleet expansion positions it for a strong summer season and future growth.

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