Ryanair has reported strong results for the first half of the 2024 fiscal year, which runs to September 30, 2023, with a profit after tax of €2.18 billion, up 59% from €1.37 billion the previous year.
The Irish low-cost carrier attributed the positive performance to a strong first quarter, which included the Easter Holiday period, as well as summer season demand and an increase in average revenue per passenger. The latter went up 17%, in great part due to higher average fares which increased by 24% to €58 per passenger. Ancillary revenue increased by 14% to €23.70 per person.
However, higher prices did not deter passengers from flying with Ryanair. The airline carried 105.4 million, an 11% increase over the previous year, and reported a 95% load factor.
Costs were also up 24%, mostly due to rising fuel prices, despite Ryanair actively hedging up to 80% of its fuel costs in FY2024.
Ryanair said it continued to maintain a target of 183.5 million passengers for the whole fiscal year, although it warned that achieving this would depend on Boeing’s ability to deliver new 737 MAX aircraft on time.
On the back of these solid financial results, Ryanair has decided to pay its first ordinary dividend of €400 million (until now, the airline had only paid special dividends and executed share buybacks), which, the airline said, is a way to give back to shareholders that provided critical financial support during the worst moments of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The airline also said it aimed to make the distribution of a dividend equivalent to 25% of the previous financial year after tax profit a regular company policy.