Ryanair today reported a third-quarter loss, in line with previous guidance, after Europe’s biggest low-fares airline cut ticket prices in response to increased competition.
The irish company reported a loss of €35 million for the months of October, November and December, its third financial quarter, in line with analysts' and the airline's own forecasts.
Full-year profit guidance remains unchanged at about €510 million.
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The loss stands in contrast with a net profit of €18.1 million during the same period in 2012.
However, In what was the company's worst financial result in five years, the company said that passenger traffic grew by 6% to 18 million passengers.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary, said: “Our Q3 loss of €35 million is in line with previous guidance and is entirely due to a 9% fall in average fares and weaker sterling. We responded to this weaker pricing environment last September with seat promotions and lower fares which stimulated traffic across all markets resulting in 6% growth in Q3, and a 1% rise in monthly load factors.
"Over the next five years, as Ryanair grows from 80 million to over 110 million customers [a year], we expect a substantial portion of this growth will be at primary airports, where high-fare incumbents are financially weak and restructuring, and the remainder arising at secondary airports driven by attractive low-cost growth incentives," Mr. O'Leary said.