Ryanair says its profits dropped by almost a third last year to €1 billion. Europe’s biggest low-cost airline is blaming the rising price of fuel as well as the lowering of its fares for the dip.
These latest figures don’t include a loss of €139m from the Austrian airline Lauda it took over last year.
Looking ahead to the current financial year, the carrier says it was being “cautious” on pricing and had “zero” visibility for the second half of the year. Ryanair added that while bookings in the first half of this year were slightly ahead of last year, "fares are lower and we expect this trend will continue through 2019".
The airlines fuel bill is expected to rise by €460m, but the outlook will also depend on last-minute fares and any impact from Brexit.
Ryanair also estimates that profits could range between €750m and €950m. It says it is delaying deliveries of five of the Boeing 737 Max planes, which have been grounded because of two fatal crashes, but said it had the "utmost confidence" in the aircraft.
These planes promise 4 per cent more seats, to be 16 per cent more fuel efficient and make 40 per cent less noise. However, because of the delay to deliveries there will not be any cost benefit for Ryanair until the 2021 financial year.