Shares in Ryanair (LSE: RYA) flew up by around 9% in early trade, following the budget airline’s positive half-yearly report.
Management have “significantly raised” winter capacity and traffic growth objectives for its forward guidance, with the latter expected to grow by 12% in Q3 and 20% in Q4 — figures that Ryanair has described as “very ambitious targets during the weaker half of the year”.
Additionally, management have revised their passenger growth plans to double by 2024, to 150 million a year. The period also saw 57 new routes opened, and the company plans to capitalise on this as it went on to say:
“We believe it is time to capitalise upon the many opportunities available to us at both primary and secondary airports, to grow our route network and increase frequencies, in order to attract business traffic which tends to travel more during the winter period.”
Ryanair has also estimated that unit costs will fall by 4% in FY2015 as they are expected to be “positively impacted by this significant H2 traffic increase”, leading to a revised full-year net profit guidance of between €750m and €770m, a big leap from the €650m previously anticipated.
Key financial figures included a 32% surge in net profit across the first half, to €795m from €602m in the same period last year. Revenue lifted by 9% to €3,537m (H1 2013: €3,255m), while the company saw a 4% lift in passengers to 51.3 million.
CEO Michael O’Leary commented:
“While partially due to the presence of Easter in Q1 and a weak prior year comparable, we have also enjoyed a strong summer thanks to our strategy (announced Sept. 2013), of raising forward bookings and improving our customer experience which has delivered higher load factors and yields.”
Shareholders won’t be too upset at the confirmation of a €520m special dividend being approved for February, amounting to €0.375 per ordinary share.
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Sam Robson has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.