Ryanair has seen passenger numbers improve as restrictions eased (PA Wire)
Ryanair has revealed its board is considering delisting from the London Stock Exchange after seeing trading in its shares on the LSE hit post-Brexit. Europe's largest budget airline said trading on the LSE has "reduced materially" as a percentage of its overall shares activity during 2021. Bosses said this migration away from London "is consistent with a general trend for trading in shares of EU corporates post Brexit".
The issue is also "potentially more acute" for Ryanair, the airline said, as European Union rules mandate that airlines are majority owned by EU nationals. Ryanair has a primary listing in Dublin, and has already made some UK investors sell shares this year to ensure it complies with the rules. The airline's board is "now considering the merits of retaining" its standard listing on the LSE.
It came as Ryanair reported seeing a profit for the first time since 2019. In the three months to end September the airline reported a EUR225 million net profit as travel restrictions lifted around Europe in time for the summer holidays. First half post-tax losses narrowed to EUR48 million, from a EUR411 million loss in the same period a year earlier.
It carried 39.1 million passengers in the half - down 54% in the first six months of 2019, when it made a EUR1.3 billion profit. Ryanair said it saw a surge in bookings in October, and the UK government scrapped its Covid "red list" of countries last week - a move also expected to stimulate travel demand. But the airline cautioned of a "challenging" winter ahead amid surging fuel costs and uncertainty over Covid restrictions heightening again.
Ryanair also told investors it plans to sell tickets at a discount in a bid to fill planes in the coming months. The airline said supporting the continued recovery in passenger numbers "will require continuing price stimulation". Today bosses forecast a full-year loss of EUR100-EUR200 million.
Story continues The company stated: "The outlook for pricing and yields for the winter of FY22 will be challenging. With the booking curve remaining very close-in, traffic recovery will require continuing price stimulation.
This, coupled with rising costs for the small [20%] unhedged balance of our fuel needs, means that visibility for the remainder of FY22 is very limited." The airline told investors it is aiming to power 12.5% of its flights with sustainable aviation fuel by 2030, and is continuing to work with the EU, fuel suppliers and aircraft manufacturers "to incentivise" its use. Shares rose as much as 1.5% to EUR17 on Monday morning on the update.