StockMarketWire.com - Low-cost carrier Ryanair booked a 13% rise in profit for the financial year just gone by, but warned the current year would be 'difficult' after it grounded flights due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Net profit for the year through March 2020 increased to €1.0bn, up from €885m on-year. Revenue rose 10% to €7.69bn.

Consultations about previously-announced base closures, pay cuts of up to 20%, unpaid leave and up to 3,000 job cuts were currently under way with staff and unions.

Ryanair said it could not provide specific guidance for the 2021 financial year, citing uncertainty over the duration of the pandemic and no visibility on customer behaviour following a return to service.

It said it expected to record a loss of over €200m in the first quarter, with a smaller loss expected in the second due to a substantial decline in traffic and pricing from Covid-19 groundings.

Ryanair said it currently expected to carry less than 80m passengers during the year, which was almost 50% below its original 154m target.

As for the delayed delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, Ryanair said it believed it would not receive its first planes until at least October.

'Ryanair's return to scheduled flying will be rendered significantly more difficult by competing with flag carrier airlines who will be financing below cost selling with the benefit of over €30bn in unlawful state aid, in breach of both EU state aid and competition rules,' it added.

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