DUBLIN May 19 Ryanair posted record
full-year earnings but warned profit growth would slow sharply
in the coming 12 months on demand weakness in the European Union
and high fuel and airport costs.
Europe's largest budget airline reported net profit
of 569 million euros ($730 million) for the 12 months to the end
of March, up 13 percent and ahead of an average analyst forecast
of 558 million in a company poll.
But the company said it expected profit for the coming
financial year to be at most 600 million euros, an increase of 5
percent, and could come in flat at 570 million.
"We expect modest yield (revenue per passenger mile) and
traffic growth for the full year to be partly offset by higher
oil and Eurocontrol costs," Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said
in a statement, referring to the pan-European air traffic
"With almost zero yield visibility into (the second half)
and the EU wide recession, we expect that there will continue to
be downward pressure on yields which will dampen full-year
profit growth," O'Leary said.
Ryanair, which will not begin to receive any of the 175
Boeing jets it ordered in March until the following year,
said it expects passenger numbers to grow 3 percent in coming
year, compared with growth of 5 percent in 12 months to March.
He said bookings on new routes and bases in the coming
summer were ahead of expectations, but warned that average fares
Ryanair shares closed on Friday at 6.33 euros, up 35 percent
since the start of the year, compared with a rise of 55 percent
at rival easyJet and 18 percent in the broader Irish
stock market index.