The low cost Ryanair will pay regular payments to its shareholders for the first time after the surge in air fares enabled the airline to achieve record profits.
The low-cost carrier said it expected to make profits of between €1.85 billion (£1.6 billion) and 2.05 billion euros in the financial year ended at the end of March, far surpassing its previous highest profit of 1.45 billion euros in 2018. Ryanair was helped by an increase in 24% of the average airfaresaround €58 in the six months to the end of September, as a post-pandemic boom in international travel demand helped Europe’s largest airline. A strong Easter, record summer traffic and growth in air travel offset rising fuel costs.
Irish airline’s profits hit 2.18 billion euros over the semester, i.e. 59% better than its previous record over the period, established last year (1.37 billion euros). She expects “modest losses” during the winter seasonwhen airlines typically struggle to make a profit.
The company plans to pay regular dividends for the first time, starting with an interim payment of 200 million euros in February and a final dividend of 200 million euros in September next year. After this, Ryanair plans to donate approximately quarter of its annual profits to shareholders. The airline has paid special dividends before, but has never committed to paying regular dividends.
Its general director, Michael O’Leary, pointed out that shareholders had invested 400 million euros during the pandemic, in September 2020, allowing the company to borrow 850 million euros via a low-interest bond. He said now is the time to declare a regular dividend policy.
In a few figures, Ryanair traffic increased by 11% to 105.4 million passengers in the first half (95% fill factor). Revenue per passenger increased by 17%. It displays 3 new bases and 194 new routes in S.23. His fleet numbered 563 Boeing 737 end of September. The fuel bill increased by €0.6 billion (+29%) to €2.8 billion. The order for 300 times Boeing MAX-10 will support a decade of growth to 300 million passengers per year in 2034 according to its forecasts.