Ryanair continues to grow both in revenue and profit, reporting a 42% increase in after-tax profits for Q3 over the same period last year.
The growth of online ticket sales through the airline`s Web site allowed it to cut marketing and distribution costs 66% during the quarter.
Up to 65% of ticket sales are now on the Internet, with an additional 25% of sales directly by phone from Ryanair. Travel-agent sales now account for only around 8% of sales, compared with 60% a year earlier.
Revenue rose 28% and passenger numbers increased by 39%.
To fund continued growth, Ryanair Holdings PLC will issue 10 million new ordinary shares, representing roughly 2.8% of the company`s existing share capital. In addition, Mr. O`Leary plans to sell up to three million shares out of his own holding of 30 million ordinary shares, which represents 8.5% of Ryanair`s issued share capital. Pricing details of the new share offering will be announced on 9th February. The issue is being handled by Morgan Stanley and Davey Stockbrokers as joint lead managers and Goldman Sachs as co-lead manager.
Proceeds from the new share issue will help fund the previously announced acquisition of 13 new Boeing 737-800 jets and possibly the purchase of second-hand 737s if good offers arise. Mr. O`Leary said such “opportunistic” acquisitions would allow Ryanair to accelerate growth or retire some of its oldest 737-200 jets.