04/02/2019 08:03 GMT | Updated 04/02/2019 08:04 GMT

Ryanair Reports 20 Million Euro Third-Quarter Loss

The budget airline fell into the red for the three months to the end of December.

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Ryanair has reported a “disappointing” net loss of €19.6m (£17.2m) for the last three months of last year.

The budget airline posted a pre-tax loss of 22.1 million euros (£19.3 million) in the three months to 31 December, which compares to a £112.9 million (£98.8 million) profit in the same period last year.

Ryanair racked up net losses of 20 million euros (£17.5 million), citing weaker-than-expected air fares among a host of challenges.

The firm also blamed excess winter capacity in Europe for a 6% reduction in average fares to under 30 euros, while the airline also had to contend with higher costs from fuel, staff and compensation claims.

It comes after a profit warning last month.

Revenue was up 9% to 1.53 billion euros (£1.3 billion) and the airline said it flew 32.7 million customers in the quarter, an increase of 8%.

Ryanair maintained its full-year profit guidance of between 1 billion euros to 1.1 billion euros.

O’Leary said: “While a 20 million euro loss in quarter three was disappointing, we take comfort that this was entirely due to weaker-than-expected air fares so our customers are enjoying record low prices, which is good for current and future traffic growth.”

Additionally, the firm announced that it will change its group structure, with a smaller management team overseeing four units – Ryanair, Laudamotion, Ryanair Sun and Ryanair UK.

As part of the shake up, O’Leary will act as group chief executive of Ryanair until at least 2024.

Meanwhile, chairman and company veteran David Bonderman will lead the board until summer 2020, but will not put himself up for reselection.

He will be succeeded by Stan McCarthy, who joined the board in 2017.