Ryanair profits jump by more than a third

Low cost Irish airline Ryanair has seen annual profits jump by more than a third and said rises in air fares are easing.

The group reported a 34% rise in profits after tax to 1.92 billion euros (£1.64 billion) for the year to the end of March after seeing passenger numbers rise 9% to 183.7 million despite disruption to Boeing aircraft deliveries.

Ryanair said a 25% leap in revenues to 13.44 billion euros (£11.51 billion) helped offset surging fuel costs.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary said recent fare pricing was “softer” than expected and the company moved to boost demand in the first quarter of its new financial year.

He added: “We remain cautiously optimistic that peak summer 2024 fares will be flat to modestly ahead of last summer.”

Mr O’Leary is pencilling in an 8% rise in passenger numbers over the year ahead, to 200 million, but said it was too early to give profit guidance for 2024-25.

Ryanair said it expects to have received 23 fewer new Boeing 737 Gamechanger aircraft by the end of July compared with its contract with the manufacturer, which is suffering major delays.

The group had 146 of these planes – which carry more passengers and are more fuel efficient than previous models – at the end of March.

It hopes to increase this to 158 by the end of July but “there remains a risk that Boeing deliveries could slip further,” Mr O’Leary warned.