Money Matters - Simplified

Ryanair returns to profit; announces dividend

Benefiting from fall in air fares and rise in traffic, the Irish airline witnessed a two percent jump in revenue to 2,988 million euros. The carrier reported 14 percent increase in traffic to 67 million.

Turning around the huge loss a year earlier, Europe's largest low-cost carrier Ryanair has posted profit for the year ending March 31.

The airline, with its head office at Dublin Airport, has reported 319 million euros ($391 million) as profit after posting loss of 169.2 million euros last fiscal year.

The airline in its financial statement said, “We can be proud of delivering a 200% increase in profits and traffic growth during a global recession when many of our competitors have announced losses or cutbacks, while more have gone bankrupt.”

Financial highlights
Benefiting from fall in air fares and rise in traffic, the Irish airline witnessed two percent jump in revenue to 2,988 million euros. The carrier also reported 14 percent increase in traffic to 67 million.

Since the fuel cost also lowered, 29 percent to 894 million euros, the unit cost declined 19 percent. The fuel cost fell due to decline in oil prices by $104 to $62 pbl.

Explaining the dividend, Ryanair stated that since it is not entering into an agreement with Boeing, the airline expects to generate surplus cash. In order to return this cash to the shareholders, the airline has planned a one-off dividend totaling to 500 million euros.

The airline also saw increase in cash from 535 million euros to 2.8 billion euros, thus strengthening its balance sheet.

Ryanair stated, “We took advantage of recent historically low rates to lock in many of our 2009/2010 deliveries at an all inclusive long term interest cost of under 4% pa.”

Paying dividend
Based on the strong results, the budget airline will be paying dividend. The company has announced a one-off dividend of 0.34 euro per share.

Explaining the dividend, Ryanair stated that since it is not entering into an agreement with Boeing, the airline expects to generate surplus cash. In order to return this cash, the airline has planned one-off dividend totaling to 500 million euros.

The dividend, the first ever by the carrier since they were floated in 1997, will be paid in October.

Another 500 million euros are expected to be returned to the shareholders either through share buy backs or one-off dividend by financial year 2013.

Upbeat outlook
Considering economic recovery, the airline is anticipating profit to be in the range of 350 million euros to 375 million euros in the coming year.

Though fuel costs and air fares will increase, traffic is expected to grow by 11 percent to 73.5 million.

The first quarter results for the financial year 2011 will be affected as there were weaker yields due the volcanic ash disruption, but overall, the airline is confident to perform strong in the year ahead.