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Ryanair keeps profit guidance, though March traffic halves

The airline has been hit by measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Europe

Ryanair Holdings plc - Ryanair keeps profit guidance, March traffic halves

Ryanair Holdings plc (LON:RYA) has confirmed that its profits for the year to March 31, 2020, will fall in the guidance range, although last month’s traffic halved due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The budget airline said profit after tax will be between €950mln and €1bn, which is at the lower end of its previously announced forecasts.

READ: Ryanair to ground fleet, easyJet launches sale as government plans support

However, in a statement, it noted that because of travel restrictions implemented by governments to limit the spread of coronavirus, traffic in March tanked by 48% to 5.7mln passengers compared to last year.

As a result, full-year traffic advanced by just 4% to 149mln, compared to the 154mln figure that Ryanair had said it was on track to achieve.

The year ended with Ryanair having €3.8bn in the bank and 77% of the owned-fleet debt-free.

The Irish airline has implemented cost-saving measures including deferring capital expenditure and slashing all salaries by 50% to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

Its daily flight schedule has been wiped out by 99% to just 20 flights and the fleet is expected to be grounded for “at least” April and May, resulting in an estimated €300mln exceptional charge from its fuel hedging.

The firm said it is only operating flights for emergency reasons and “occasional currency flights” to ensure that pilots and aircraft are ready to return to service.

Shares were flat at €8.55 on Friday early morning.

--Adds shares--

Quick facts: Ryanair Holdings plc

Price: 15.46 EUR

LSE:RYA
Market: LSE
Market Cap: €17.4 billion
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