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Ryanair shrugs off downturn to lift profit forecast


Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary

RYANAIR has delivered some cheer to shareholders after raising the estimate for its annual profit.

Europe's largest low-cost airline said that a mix of higher ticket prices, as well as the struggle of rivals, allowed it to lift its full-year profit forecast from €440m to €480m.

The higher forecast came as Ryanair reported a profit of €15m for the final three months of the year compared with a loss of €10m in the same period in 2010.

Ryanair's profits for the third quarter were helped by a 17pc increase in average ticket prices, which more than offset a 2pc decline in total passenger numbers.

The airline also grappled with higher fuel prices in the quarter, which were up 11pc. That contributed to an overall increase in costs during the quarter of 18pc.

Shares in Ryanair were up almost 2pc at €4.22 in early morning trading in London.