Ryanair Lost 185 Million Euros in Q1, Fears Second Wave in Autumn

Ryanair Michael O'Leary Coronavirus

Ryanair posted an after-tax loss of 185 million euros (168 million pounds) for the three months to June 30, when it cut 99% of its capacity as Europe locked down in the face of COVOD-19.

During the same quarterly period previous year, Ryanair enjoyed profits of €243m. While the restart of flights presents opportunities, the discount giant said it's anxious the virus could continue to roil demand for months to come.

Elsewhere, Signature Aviation said like-for-like revenue in its first half was down 31% year-on-year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, although it did remain net cash flow positive in the second quarter. In the current quarter, the company expects another loss, but less than that of preceding months.

Ryanair has outlined the scale of the monetary hit to its operations from the coronavirus lockdown and warned a next wave of the sickness is its "most important anxiety". Ryanair could attract more customers. At £9.50 per share, Ryanair is now 30% down year to date in the stock market after recovering from an even lower £7.41 per share in March.

Ryanair's loss, however, came in significantly lower than £211.24 million that the analysts had forecast in a company poll.

Ryanair, Europe's biggest low-priced airline, restarted timetabled flights on July 1 and said in the statement it will operate about 40% of the normal schedule this month, rising to 60% in August and - "hopefully" - 70% in September. In terms of costs, the Irish budget airline reported an 85% slump in the recently ended quarter.

Ryanair can not provide any financial guidance at the moment due to the uncertainty posed by Covid-19.

Britain's surprise reintroduction of a quarantine for people arriving from Spain threatens to quell resurgent demand at carriers like Ryanair that are heavily reliant on holiday traffic, and shows how the industry is treading a tightrope as it resumes flying with the virus still raging.

"I think it is regrettable, very disappointing", Sorahan told Reuters in an interview following the publication of quarterly financial results. Ryanair's CFO Neil Sorahan branded the government's announcement as disappointing on Monday as he highlighted that Ryanair will not be cutting flights between the United Kingdom and Spain.

"I have no doubt that we will see other localised outbreaks and we need to be flexible enough to deal with them as they arise over the next number of weeks and months", he added.

At the time of writing, the Swords-based air carrier has a market cap of £10.30 billion.



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