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Ryanair posts 26pc profit and warns of fare hikes

Budget airline Ryanair warned today that surging oil prices will force average air fares up by 12pc in the current financial year.

The Irish carrier, which prides itself on its cheap tickets, had already increased fares by 12pc in the year to March 31 as fuel costs continued to pile pressure on the airline industry.

But the group, which operates more than 1,500 flights per day, also added that higher oil prices would lead to "more airlines going broke", creating further growth opportunities.

The warning on fares came as Ryanair reported a 26pc increase in underlying pre-tax profits to €319m (£277m) in the year to March 31.