Ryanair update dashes City hopes of quick airline recovery

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Ryanair Holdings PLC (LON:RYA) has lowered its loss forecast for the year just ended but said Easter had seen fewer passengers than expected which will affect the current twelve months’ numbers.

The Irish carrier now expects a pre-exceptional net loss of between €800mln and €850m in the year to end 31 March 2021 against €850mln to €950mln guided previously.

For the current year (to March 2022), Ryanair said traffic is likely to be towards the lower end of its 80mln to 120mln passengers guidance due to the Easter travel restrictions/lockdowns and the slow rollout in the EU of Covid-19 vaccines.

The airline added that the financial outcome for FY22 based on this revision is currently close to breakeven.

Traffic in the year just ended was 27.5mln passengers (down from 149mln in FY20) due to Covid-19 flight cancellations and travel restrictions.

Ryanair’s said year-end cash (31 March) was over €3.15bn, while more than 84% of the group’s owned fleet of 420 B737 aircraft was unencumbered.

Full-year results will be released on 17 May.

Peel Hunt said it had been forecasting a net profit of €449m for this current year and the consensus is €394mln, so the group’s outlook was disappointing and ‘whilst it shows some recovery in demand with a likely further improvement in FY23E, it is significantly weaker than the stock is discounting’.

Sell is Peel Hunt’s investment recommendation, with the broker adding it expects a similar downbeat outlook for the other airlines, most notably Wizz Air.

Ryanair shares rose 1% to €17.

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