Ryanair Q3 Profit Down; Backs FY Profit Guidance

Speaking after it published the results on Monday, chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs confirmed that charges were also down in the current quarter, the last before its financial year ends on March 31st.

While traffic increased by 16% to 29m, its average fare dropped to 33 euro per passenger - and the firm has said prices are set to go even lower.

The airline said fuel costs for the remainder of its financial year were 95% hedged at $56 a barrel, while it had hedged more than 85% of its FY18 fuel at an average price of $49 a barrel. Ryanair expects uncertainty over Britain's decision to leave the European Union, instability in markets like Turkey and the pound's drop to keep depressing prices.

Ryanair maintained its full-year profit forecast for a range of €1.30-1.35 billion, but said that outlook heavily depended on the absence of any unforeseen security events.

The LCC reported net profits of €95 million ($102 million) for the third quarter of its financial year ended December 31, down from €103 million last time. This was caused by average fares falling 17% year-on-year in the quarter, which was partially offset by a 12% decline in average unit costs.

Ryanair's profit after tax dropped eight percent in its third quarter of 2016, following the pound's sharp decline post-Brexit.

He added that fares were falling "faster than we initially planned".

Ryanair chief financial officer Neil Sorahan told the BBC that while the airline had plans to expand in the United Kingdom "we have been quite clear that as we move closer to Brexit. that we won't grow as quickly in the United Kingdom as we might otherwise have done".

Asked about the carrier's plans post-Brexit, Mr Sorahan said that while the airline expected to expand in the United Kingdom, "we have been quite clear that as we move closer to Brexit... that we won't grow as quickly in the United Kingdom as we might otherwise have done".

"While there may be opportunities to expand at certain United Kingdom airports (such as the recent extension of our growth deal at Stansted), we expect to grow at a slower pace than previously planned in the United Kingdom".

British airlines are waiting with bated breath to discover whether the United Kingdom will remain a member of the EU's Open Skies aviation free market.

The company expects to continue to grow strongly in continental Europe in 2017 with more new bases and routes still to be added.

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