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Ryanair Holdings plc today (20 May) reported full-year PAT growth of 34% to €1.92bn, as traffic grew 9% to 184m passengers (23% more than pre-Covid).  The Group’s industry leading cost base and increased revenues helped to offset a significantly higher fuel bill as hedged oil prices rose from $65bbl in FY23 to $89bbl in FY24.

  Mar. 2023 Mar. 2024 Change
Customers 168.6m 183.7m +9%
Load Factor 93% 94% +1pt
Revenue €10.78bn €13.44bn +25%
Op. Costs €9.20bn* €11.38bn +24%
PAT €1.43bn* €1.92bn +34%

FY24 Highlights:

  • Traffic grew 9% to 183.7m, despite Boeing delays.
  • Rev. per pax up 15% (ave. fare +21% & ancil. rev. +3%).
  • Fuel bill rose 32% (+€1.25bn) to €5.14bn.
  • ESG ratings upgraded (MSCI ‘A’ & CDP ‘A-’) & strong 85% CSAT score achieved.
  • 146x B737 “Gamechangers” in 584 aircraft fleet at Mar. 2024 due to Boeing delays.
  • 5 new bases and over 200 new routes open for S.24.
  • FY25 fuel over 70% hedged at just under $80bbl saving €450m.
  • Maiden int. div. €0.175 paid in Feb.  Final div. of €0.178 (payable in Sept.).
  • 300x B737-MAX-10 order underpins growth to 300m pax (FY34) subject to Boeing deliveries.


Ryanair’s Group CEO Michael O’Leary, said:

“CDP recently awarded Ryanair an ‘A-’ climate rating (previously ‘B’), topping off a year of ESG upgrades incl. our industry leading MSCI ‘A’ rating (up from ‘BBB’), and retention of our Sustainalytics ranking as Europe’s No.1 airline for ESG.  Our new aircraft and increasing use of SAF has positioned Ryanair as one of the EU’s most environmentally efficient major airlines.  In FY24 we took delivery of 48x B737-8200 “Gamechangers” (4% more seats, 16% less fuel & CO2) and we retro-fitted winglets on over 25% of our B737NG fleet (target 409 by 2026), reducing fuel burn by 1.5% and noise by 6%.  Last year we expanded our SAF partnerships (incl. our first UK delivery from Shell) and we remain on track to achieve our ambitious 2030 goal of powering 12.5% of Ryanair flights with SAF (10% supply already secured).  In Apr. we extended our partnership with Trinity College Dublin’s Sustainable Aviation Research Centre (“TCD”) to 2030.  TCD’s valuable research facility supports the acceleration of SAF deployment across Europe.

In 2023 Europe suffered 67 days of ATC strikes, causing thousands of (avoidable) flight cancellations to/from Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK while France (in particular) uses minimum service laws to overprotect French local/domestic flights.  As we head into S.24, we again call on the EU Commission to deliver urgent reform of Europe’s inefficient ATC system, by protecting overflights (during national strikes) which would deliver important environmental improvements in EU air travel.  Regrettably, there has been zero action from the Commission on this environmental initiative.  We again call on  Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to defend the single market for air travel by protecting 100% of overflights during national ATC strikes, as is already the case in Greece, Italy and Spain.

The Board is pleased to welcome 2 new NEDs from 1 July, Ms. Jinane Laghrari Laabi (Morocco) and Ms. Amber Rudd (UK).  Jinane is a former partner with McKinsey & Company (Casablanca) covering Morocco, Africa & Middle East.  Amber is a former UK MP who held senior cabinet positions including Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.  To facilitate these appointments, Louise Phelan and Michael Cawley have confirmed that they will step down from the Board at the end of June having completed their 9 year tenure and we thank them sincerely for their leadership and service.  These new appointments, which align with our orderly succession plans, further enhance Ryanair’s Board diversity (geographic, gender and ethnic balance) with a 50:50 gender split following these latest changes. Our Chairman (Stan McCarthy) recently refreshed Board Committees to reflect these Board changes. 

During FY24, Ryanair’s EU ownership continued to increase and was just over 48% at year-end (up from 46%).

Ryanair had a fleet of 146x B737 Gamechangers at year-end and we hope to increase this to 158 by the end of July, which is 23 short of our contracted Boeing deliveries.  We continue to work closely with Boeing CEO (Dave Calhoun), CFO (Brian West) and the new Seattle management team to improve quality and accelerate B737 aircraft deliveries.  There remains a risk that Boeing deliveries could slip further.  We plan to deliver as much growth as possible for passengers and airport partners in S.24, although these delays mean more traffic growth will occur in lower yielding H2 than planned.  To facilitate this growth, we will continue to take delivery of B737s through Jul., Aug., and Sept., and Lauda recently extended 3x A320 op. leases by 4-years to 2028.

Travel demand in Europe is strong for S.24 and, despite Boeing delivery delays, we will operate our largest ever Summer schedule with over 200 new routes (and 5 new bases).  S.24 short-haul EU capacity is constrained as competitor airlines ground A320 aircraft for P&W engine repairs (these disruptions will likely run into 2026) and OEMs struggle to recover their delivery backlogs.  We therefore urge customers to book Summer travel early on www.ryanair.com to secure the best airfares before they sell out.

We expect European airline consolidation to continue, with the takeover of ITA (Italy) and Air Europa (Spain) progressing and the sale of TAP (Portugal) next.  This, in addition to A320 fleet groundings and the large backlog of OEM aircraft deliveries, is likely to constrain capacity growth in Europe for some years.  These capacity constraints, combined with our significant cost advantage (incl. FY25 fuel hedge savings of €450m), strong balance sheet, low-cost aircraft orders and industry leading resilience, will (we believe) underpin a decade of profitable growth for Ryanair as we grow to 300m passengers by FY34. 


Revenue & Costs:
FY24 scheduled revenue increased 32% to €9.15bn.  Traffic grew 9% to 183.7m while ave. fare rose 21% to €49.80, thanks to a record H1 and strong Easter traffic in late Mar., offset by softer than expected Q3 fares and load factors (following the sudden, but welcome, removal of Ryanair flights from many OTA Pirate websites in early Dec.).  Ancillary sales increased 12% to €4.30bn (c.€23.40 per passenger).  Total FY24 revenue rose 25% to €13.44bn.  Operating costs increased 24% to €11.38bn, primarily due to a 32% increase in fuel costs, higher staff costs (incl. pay restoration, crew, engineering & handler pay rises, higher crewing ratios and pilot productivity pay as we improve operational resilience) and Boeing delivery delays.  More importantly, the widening cost gap between Ryanair and our EU competitors (which is further enhanced by Ryanair’s low-cost financing and net interest income) remains a growing competitive advantage.

Our FY25 fuel requirements are over 70% hedged at just under $80bbl and 80% of €/$ opex is hedged at $1.11.  This strong hedge position locks-in approx. €450m savings on fuel, and substantially insulates the Group from current fuel price volatility.

Balance Sheet & Liquidity:
Our balance sheet remains one of the strongest in the industry with a BBB+ credit rating (both S&P and Fitch) and €4.12bn gross cash at year-end, despite €2.4bn capex and well over €1bn debt repayments.  Year-end net cash was €1.37bn (PY: €0.56bn), somewhat boosted by Boeing delivery delays.  Our owned B737 fleet (556 aircraft) is fully unencumbered, which significantly widens our cost advantage over competitor airlines, many of whom are exposed to rising aircraft lease and financing costs.

Our strategy, as Ryanair recovered from Covid, was to prioritise pay restoration and multi-year pay increases for our people, which has now been delivered.  Secondly, in a higher interest rate environment, we intended to pay down remaining debt as it matures in 2025 and 2026, while also financing our aircraft capex from internal resources.  Once these priorities have been secured, Group policy is to prioritise growth to drive shareholder value while maintaining a strong, investment grade, balance sheet, and delivering shareholder returns.

In line with the above Capital Allocation Policy, Ryanair paid an interim dividend of €0.175 per share in Feb. with a final dividend of €0.178 per share due in Sept. following our AGM.  Given current surplus cash, the Board has approved a €700m share buyback now (which will formally launch later this week).  This buyback when completed, will increase the funds Ryanair has returned to shareholders since 2008 to over €7.8bn.

Ryanair expects to grow FY25 traffic by 8% (198m to 200m passengers), subject to Boeing deliveries returning to contracted levels before year-end.  Our cost advantage over competitors continues to widen, even though we expect FY25 unit costs to rise modestly as ex-fuel costs (incl. annualised pay & productivity allowance increases, higher handling & ATC fees and the impact of Gamechanger delivery delays on crewing ratios and fixed costs) is substantially offset by our fuel hedge savings and our rising interest income.  With EU short-haul capacity constrained, S.24 demand is positive, with bookings trending ahead of last year.  Recent pricing is softer than we expected, with Q1 requiring more price stimulation than last year (particularly as half of Easter moved into Mar. and out of Apr.).  While  visibility is limited, and the outcome will be heavily dependent on close-in peak S.24 pricing, we remain cautiously optimistic that peak S.24 fares will be flat to modestly ahead of last summer.  Q4 FY25 will not benefit from an early Easter (as it did in FY24).  It is therefore too early to be able to provide sensible or accurate FY25 PAT guidance.  The final outcome for FY25 will be heavily dependent upon avoiding adverse events during FY25 (such as wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, extensive ATC disruptions or further Boeing delivery delays).”   


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    To celebrate its new routes, Ryanair has launched a seat sale with fares from 729 Kc for travel to Kosice and from 759 Kc to Paphos, both until the end of October, which must be booked by Wednesday (5th August), only on the Ryanair.com website.