Ryanair Holdings plans to buy back as much €550 million of stock after record passenger numbers over the summer helped second-quarter profit beat analyst estimates. The shares rose.
Profit after tax increased to €912 million in the three months through September from €843 million a year earlier, Dublin-based Ryanair said on Monday. Analysts predicted earnings of €897 million, based on the average of four estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company stuck to its full-year earnings forecast and raised its long-term passenger target by more than 10 percent.
“Ryanair is doing very well in tough times as people trade down to lower fares,” Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said in a Bloomberg Television interview. If profitability goes up, the airline will most likely continue buybacks, he said.
The shares rose as much as 6.3 percent, the most in more than three months, to 13.54 euros and were trading at 13.41 euros at 8:36 a.m. in Dublin, shaving the year’s loss to 13 percent.
The discount airline is attracting passengers by cutting fares, increasing seats and adding larger airports to its schedule as it battles against expansion by competitors, which the carrier predicts will depress prices by as much as 15 percent in the winter. Cheaper tickets boosted Ryanair’s passenger tally by 12 percent in the first half, to 64.8 million passengers.
News by Bloomberg, edited by Hospitality Ireland