Ryanair says first-half profits hit partly by Brexit

Ireland’s budget airline Ryanair said Monday that first-half profits were hit by the slumping pound after Britain’s June vote to leave the European Union.

Net profits, or earnings after taxation, stood at 1.2 billion euros in the six months to the end of September, Ryanair said in a results statement.

That marked a seven percent increase from 1.1 billion euros from the same part of the previous financial year, sending shares soaring to a three-month high of 13.54 euros on the Dublin stock market.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary said it had faced “difficult market conditions” that included “the adverse economic impact of the Brexit vote in June which saw sterling weaken materially over the peak summer period”.

The pound’s Brexit-driven slump is reducing the amount Ryanair earns from its key British market once the currency is converted into euros — the unit of Ireland and which the Dublin-based airline uses to price its earnings.

Britain accounts for 26 percent of Ryanair revenues and the airline recently slashed its planned growth in this country from 12 percent to around 5 percent.

As a consequence of Brexit uncertainty, it has also switched this additional capacity to other European countries.