Tue, Jul 26, 2016 - Page 11 News List

Ryanair warns on dangers of Brexit

AFP, DUBLIN

Irish no-frills airline Ryanair Ltd yesterday posted a slight increase in first-quarter net profits, but warned that Brexit could affect its annual earnings.

Earnings before taxation rose 4 percent to 256 million euros (US$281 million) in the three months to the end of last month, Ryanair said in a results statement.

Turnover grew 2 percent to 1.68 billion euros in the reporting period.

TERRORIST EVENTS

Ryanair said its performance was hit by “ongoing market volatility arising from terrorist events and repeated air traffic control strikes,” as well as the weakness of the pound after the Brexit vote.

“The recent UK vote to leave the European Union was both a surprise and a disappointment,” said the airline, which had campaigned for Britain to remain in the bloc in the June 23 referendum.

“We expect this result will lead to a considerable period of political and economic uncertainty in both the UK and the EU. This uncertainty will be damaging to economic growth and consumer confidence,” it added.

Ryanair had already signaled its intention late last month to put the brakes on new UK connections for the coming months due to Brexit uncertainty.

FOCUS ON EU

“We will pivot our growth away from UK airports and focus more on growing at our EU airports over the next two years,” the carrier said yesterday. “This winter, we will cut capacity and frequency on many London Stansted routes — although no routes will close.”

The Dublin-based carrier repeated its guidance for a 12-percent increase in full-year profits to between 1.375 billion euros and 1.425 billion euros.

However, it added that “post Brexit, there are significant risks to the downside during the remainder of the year.”

Ryanair’s financial year runs until the end of March next year.

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