Ryanair has reported a 10% increase in full year profit after tax to €1.45bn, as lower fares (down 3%) stimulated 9% traffic growth to over 130m guests and 95% load factor.
Average fares last year declined by 3% and traffic grew 9% to over 130m with Germany, Italy and Spain being the 3 largest growth markets. Ryanair expects above average EU capacity growth to continue into FY19, which will have a downward effect on fares.
During full-year 2018, which ended March 31, Ryanair took delivery of 50 new B737’s, and increased its Boeing order to 135 firm MAX-200 Gamechangers, with a further 75 under option (210 in total). Ryanair opened 4 bases in Burgas, Memmingen, Naples & Poznan and launched over 260 new routes.
In full-year 2019 Ryanair will invest substantially in its people, its systems and its business as the carrier scales up the operation to take delivery of 210 Boeing Gamechanger aircraft over the next 6 years. This will lead to a modest increase in ex-fuel unit costs next year but will underpin Ryanair’s growth to almost 600 aircraft and 200m guests p.a. by FY24.
Staff costs are expected to rise by almost €200m, half of which is higher pay for its front line people and half is additional headcount for growth.