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Ryanair sees profit soar to €569m despite fuel price rise

Ryanair's full year profit results took off to a record high of €569m despite soaring fuel prices.

The no-frills airline said that profits after tax rose 13pc to €569m on revenues of €4.88bn.

Ryanair said that a 5pc rise in passenger traffic to 79.3 million significantly boosted the results.

The company is forecasting net profits in the range of €570m to €600m for the coming year. And chief executive Michael O'Leary said that he expects growth opportunities for Ryanair to expand in the near future.

"Delivering a 13pc increase in profits and 5pc traffic growth despite high oil prices during a European recession is testimony to the strength of Ryanair's ultra-low-cost model," he said.

"Forward bookings on our new routes and bases this summer are ahead of expectations as competitor airlines continue to restructure and cut short-haul capacity."

But he warned that growth would be slower in the 2013-14 financial year, due to rising oil prices and "unjustified higher Eurocontrol and Spanish airport charges".

Fuel costs rose by more than €290m in the year to March 2013 and now represent 45pc of total costs. This will impact on the European airline industry, Mr O'Leary said.

"The combination of high oil prices, increasing competitor losses, together with a shortage of financing for weaker credits, will lead to continued EU consolidation and closures," he added.

This year, Ryanair opened seven new bases, and more than 200 new routes and it is eyeing up a target of carrying more than 100 million passengers a year by the end of 2018.

The airline's share price rocketed on the back of the results – rising by 6pc in early morning trading.

Average fares increased by 6pc in the year to March and there was a massive 20pc jump in the amount spent by passengers on services such as reserved seating.

Earlier this year, Ryanair placed an order with Boeing for 175 planes worth €12.1bn.

The deal will increase its fleet by a third to 400 planes.

"Ryanair is now uniquely positioned to offer many of Europe's airports sustained traffic growth in return for low cost, efficient facilities," Mr O'Leary said.

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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