Ryanair profits rise 10%

Net profit for the six months to end the of September rose to €596m from €544m a year ago thanks to higher fares and a lower fuel bill

Ryanair said profit in the first half jumped 10%, beating expectations thanks to higher fares and a lower fuel bill, prompting Europe’s biggest budget airline to raise its guidance for full-year profit.

The Dublin-based airline, which is waiting to hear whether EU regulators will approve its takeover of Aer Lingus, said fares rose 6% in the second half, coupled with a surge in passenger numbers during the summer months.

“It was a strong performance after the Olympic Games, we certainly saw an upward rise in average fares. Many people who appeared to stay at home … came back in force post the Olympic Games,” chief financial officer Howard Millar told Reuters.

Net profit for the six months to end-September rose to €596m (£476m), from €544m a year ago and ahead of analyst expectations at €564m. Revenue surged 15% to €3.1bn.

The airline lifted its forecast for the year to March to a profit of between of €490m to €520m from its previous guidance of €400m to €440m for the year to March.

Ryanair said in a recent update on its bid to acquire rival Aer Lingus that it has offered concessions to European Union antitrust regulators in an effort to secure regulatory clearance. It has a 6 February deadline for its decision on the €700m deal.

Ryanair said it would not take part in the sale of London’s Stansted airport last month, after the airport’s owner BAA, excluded the budget airline from the process.

Shares in European airlines Air France-KLM and Lufthansa both rose towards the end of last week after posting reassuring results on Thursday.

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