Ryanair airs profit warning for second time in three months

Europe’s largest low-cost carrier now expects profit after tax for its financial year to March 31 of between €1 billion ($1.14bn) and €1.1bn. (Reuters)
Updated 18 January 2019

Ryanair airs profit warning for second time in three months

  • The Irish airline had originally forecast profits of €1.25bn to €1.35bn
  • Ryanair lay the blame squarely on lower than expected fares in the second half of its financial year

DUBLIN: Ryanair cut its forecast for full-year profit for the second time in three months on Friday, this time blaming lower than expected winter fares, and said it cannot rule out a further downgrade if Brexit causes unexpected developments.
Europe’s largest low-cost carrier now expects profit after tax for its financial year to March 31 — excluding start-up losses at its Laudamotion unit — of between €1 billion ($1.14bn) and €1.1bn, compared to a previous estimate of €1.1bn to €1.2bn.
The Irish airline had originally forecast profits of €1.25bn to €1.35bn before October’s profit warning took account of a series of strikes across Europe during the summer that hit traffic and bookings, but have since subsided.
On Friday, Ryanair lay the blame squarely on lower than expected fares in the second half of its financial year. Those fares were set to fall by 7 percent, rather than the 2 percent previously flagged, due to short-haul overcapacity in Europe, it said.
The lower fares have, however, been partially offset by stronger than expected annual traffic growth — now expected to grow by 9 percent to 142 million passengers — slightly better than expected unit costs and stronger ancillary sales.
Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said a further downgrade of the profit outlook was possible given uncertainty about the terms of Britain’s planned departure from the European Union at the end of March.
“While we have reasonable visibility over forward Q4 bookings, we cannot rule out further cuts to air fares and/or slightly lower full year guidance if there are unexpected Brexit or security developments which adversely impact yields between now and the end of March,” O’Leary said in a statement
Still, the better than expected unit cost performance allowed the carrier to cut its projected start-up losses in Lauda to €150 million from €140m.
O’Leary said the fact that the airline was passing on lower air fares to customers would continue to be good for Ryanair’s traffic growth and business over the medium to long term.


Gulf Marine CEO quits after review sparks profit warning

Updated 22 August 2019

Gulf Marine CEO quits after review sparks profit warning

  • Tensions in the Arabian Gulf, a worrisome global growth outlook and uncertainty over oil prices have recently dampened investor confidence

DUBAI: Gulf Marine Services said on Wednesday Chief Executive Officer Duncan Anderson has resigned as the oilfield industry contractor warned a reassessment of its ships and contracts showed profit would fall this year, kicking its shares 12 percent down.

The Abu Dhabi-based offshore services specialist said a review by new finance chief Stephen Kersley of its large E-class vessels operating in Northwest Europe and the Middle East pointed to 2019 core earnings of between $45 million and $48 million, below $58 million that it reported last year.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that Anderson, who has served as CEO for 12 years, was asked to step down. Anderson could not be reached for comment.

The company, which in the past predominantly operated in the UAE, expanded operations and deployed large vessels in the North Sea and Saudi Arabia nine years ago and listed its shares in London in 2014.

Tensions in the Arabian Gulf, a worrisome global growth outlook and uncertainty over oil prices have recently dampened investor confidence.

The North Sea has seen a revival in production in recent years due to new fields coming on line and improved performance by operators following the 2014 oil price collapse.

Still, the basin’s production is expected to decline over the next decade, according to Britain’s Oil and Gas Authority.

“(The CFO’s) review has coincided with a pause in renewables-related self-propelled self-elevating support vessels activity in the North Sea, which will impact several of the higher day-rate E-Class vessels,” Investec wrote in a note.

Gulf Marine appointed industry veteran Kersley as chief financial officer in late May as it sought to halt a slide which has seen the company’s shares fall nearly 80 percent last year and another 23 percent so far this year.

The company said market conditions remained challenging and that it was still in talks with its financial advisors regarding a new capital structure.

“Management, the new board and the group’s advisors, have been in negotiation with the group’s banks on resetting its capital structure and progress has been made,” it said in a statement.

Last year, Gulf Marine said contracts were delayed into 2019 as the company was seen to be in breach of certain banking covenants at the end of 2018.

The company said it was still in talks with its banks and individual lenders with hopes of getting a waiver or an agreement to amend the concerned covenants.