28 January 2013
Ryanair has announced profits are up putting it down to strong pre-Christmas bookings and higher ticket prices.
The low cost airline announced profits of 18 million euros for its third quarter, an increase of 3 million euros on last year despite fuel costs being 81 million euros more.
The airline said it expected full year profits to rise to 540 million euros - up from the previous estimate of 490-520 million euros.
It said traffic would drop in the fourth quarter due to the grounding of up to 80 aircraft in order to limit the impact of high oil prices, seasonally weaker demand and high airport fees at Stansted and Dublin.
Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary said: "Our Q3 profit of €18m was ahead of expectations due to strong pre-Christmas bookings at higher yields. The 8% rise in average fares reflects our improved customer service, record punctuality and the successful roll out of our reserved seating service."
The airline said it expected further capacity cuts in Europe as loss making carriers struggle to compete - which will create more growth opportunity for Ryanair over the next decade.
Ryanair also said its recent remedies package for the EU, in support of its proposed Aer Lingus takeover, addressed all competition issues, see previous story.
Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary said: "We believe these remedies address every current RyanairAer Lingus crossover route and all other competition issues raised by the Commission in its Statement of Objections. The remedies involve two upfront buyers each basing aircraft in Ireland to takeover and operate a substantial part of Aer Lingus' existing route network and short-haul business.
"This will be the first EU airline merger which will deliver structural divestitures and multiple upfront buyers. We look forward to completing our offer for Aer Lingus subject to receiving approval from the EU competition authorities in early March".