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Ryanair shares soar on profit boost, hikes forecast on winter bookings

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Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary

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Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary

Ryanair has hiked its profit forecast by 18pc this morning on better-than-expected winter bookings and said it would cut fares by up to

10pc in the spring to boost its share of the European short-haul market.

And shares in the airline were up 8.5pc this morning to €8.25 as the company reported a 32pc hike half year profits.

The airline said it would carry 2.2 million passengers more than previously forecast in the six months to March.

That should allow it to boost its profit after tax for the 12 months to March to between €750m and €770m, up from to a previous forecast of €620m to €650m, it said in a statement.

It expects to fly 89 million passengers in the year to March compared to 82 million in the same period last year.

The hike comes after the airline announced a series of improvements to its customer service and a new business product that allows passengers to change their bookings for free.

Higher-cost rivals Lufthansa and Air France have both lowered their profit forecasts in recent days on higher competition and the cost of industrial action.

It reported profits of €795m for the half year.

Average fares were up about 5pc in the first half to September 30, and unit costs less fuel fell by 2 percent.

Sales were up 9pc to almost €3.26bn.

Online Editors