Ryanair forecasts record annual loss as COVID-19 'wreaks havoc'

Ryanair forecasts record annual loss as COVID-19 'wreaks havoc'
  • Clock-gray 14:53
  • calendar-gray 01 February 2021

Ryanair said on Monday it may lose close to 1 billion euros ($1.21 billion) in its current financial year, by far its worst ever performance, but Europe’s largest low-cost carrier said the crisis would create significant growth opportunities, APA reports citing Reuters.

The Irish airline said it expects to post a loss of between 850 and 950 million euros in its current financial year, which ends on March 31, around 5 times larger than its previous record annual loss posted in 2009.

“COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc across the industry,” the airline said in a statement. “FY21 will continue to be the most challenging year in Ryanair’s 35 year history.”

COVID-19 restrictions slashed Ryanair passenger numbers by 78% in the last three months of the year, the third quarter of its financial calendar, pushing it to a quarterly loss of 306 million euros.

That compares with a loss of 300 million euro forecast in a company poll of analysts.

Ryanair posted a fall of 82% in revenue in the final three months of 2020, compared with falls of 88% at rival easyJet and 77% at Wizz, which both reported results last week.

Ryanair is widely seen as one of the best-placed airlines in the world to weather the COVID-19 crisis due to its large cash balance and lack of long-haul and business-class.

It said it had cash on hand of 3.5 billion euros at the end of December, compared with 4.5 billion at the end of September.

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