Ryanair profit takes off

No frills airline Ryanair posted a 10 per cent hike in half year profit after an increase in passenger numbers and fares.

No frills airline Ryanair posted a 10 per cent hike in half year profit after an increase in passenger numbers and fares.

Net profit rose to €596m for the six months to September 30th compared to €544m a year earlier as revenues increased 15% to €3.11bn. The airline reported record half year trafffic numbers as average fares rose 6%.

Profits were boosted by robust bookings in the wake of the Olympics and amid lower than expected fuel costs. Still, fuel costs rose by €218m as oil costs increased 18% from $83pbl to $98pbl.

Ryanair also boosted its full year forecast to €490m-520m but cautioned that it expects market conditions to remain tough.

"Our 10% profit increase in H1 combined with traffic growth of 7% during a period of high oil prices and continuing recessionausterity in Europe was another robust result," it said in a company statement.

It added: "We expect market conditions in Europe to remain tough as recession, austerity, high fuel costs, and excessive Government taxes dampen air travel demand. Further airline failures and consolidations are inevitable given the fragmentation among European airlines and the existence of so many high cost, high fare airlines with poor punctuality records."

Ryanair says it sees substantial opportunities to grow in this environment.

CJ

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