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Ryanair Posts Record Annual Profit Despite Rising Costs, Warns of Weaker Pricing Ahead

Ryanair reported its highest-ever annual profit, with a 34% increase to 1.92 billion euros and a 25% rise in revenue to 13.44 billion euros for the year ending March 2024.

The airline served 184 million passengers, 23% more than before the Covid pandemic, which, along with higher fares, helped offset a 24% increase in operating costs and a 32% rise in its jet fuel bill.

Ryanair announced a 700 million euro share buyback program, reflecting a strong balance sheet. Chief Financial Officer Neil Sorahan highlighted priorities such as restoring pay, increasing wages, and paying down debt. The airline now has 1.4 billion euros in gross cash.

Ryanair achieves a record profit of 1.92 billion euros, with 25% revenue growth and increased passenger numbers.

Despite these achievements, Ryanair flagged a weaker pricing environment for the current quarter.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank noted that recent pricing had been softer than expected, and CEO Michael O’Leary attributed this to a “recessionary feel” in Europe or weaker consumer sentiment. He indicated that the airline might discount fares to maintain a 94% load factor in the upcoming months.

In December, the sudden withdrawal of Ryanair flights from numerous online travel agents (OTAs) impacted pricing, though new agreements have been signed with several large OTAs. Ryanair now deals more directly with customers.

Challenges include delays in Boeing aircraft deliveries and the grounding of numerous Airbus aircraft due to engine issues, leading to constrained capacity.

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