RYANAIR SAYS FUEL BILL TO HIT PROFITS THIS YEAR - Ryanair has reported record annual results for the year to the end of March. The airline took in €503m after tax - a 25% increase year-on-year while revenues rose by 19%.
The company's deputy chief executive Michael Cawley says the record outcome was achieved despite the fact that the airline's fuel bill rose by over €360m. He said this was partly offset by a 16% rise in fares, but Ryanair can not really increase fares again this year. He says the rate of growth in the airline's passenger numbers has declined in percentage terms as the number of bases continues to increase but that overall passenger numbers will continue to climb. Mr Cawley says that Ryanair has major potential to grow through opening more bases throughout Europe and by taking over the routes of collapsed competitors. He predicts that many more airlines will go out of business as their fuel bills make their businesses unsustainable. Mr Cawley says Ryanair will continue to reduce costs in its business as it tries to protect its passengers from higher fares.
MORNING BRIEFS - French bank 3CIF is the latest euro zone lender to run into trouble. It has outstanding mortgage loans of €33 billion. That is relatively small in the context of a country as large as France and represents just 4% of the market but it looks like becoming a burden on the state. Late Thursday night ratings agency Moody's warned it could not see the bank surviving without financial assistance and that it seemed unlikely that would come from the private sector. Reports over the weekend say HSBC bank has been appointed to sell 3CIF but analysts not optimistic that will happen. If not it will be up to the new French finance minister Pierre Moscovici to make the call on whether to nationalise.
*** Almost $4 trillion has been wiped off the value of global shares this past month. Investors clearly spooked once more by fears over the stability of the Euro and the euro zone. Most major European stock markets head into this last week of the month in the red for the year as a whole. In New York the S&P 500, the broadest measure of US shares, has dropped over 7% in May and has finished down for six sessions in a row.