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Ryanair profits lifted by fare hikes


Airline sees rise in bookings after the Olympics

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Low-cost carrier Ryanair has posted a net profit €596 million (£477 million) for the six months to the end of September, up 10 percent on the €544 million it posted over the corresponding period a year earlier.

In a statement on Monday, the airline said record passenger numbers and an average 6 percent rise in its fares helped boost revenue by 15 percent to €3.1 billion. Ryanair also raised its full-year profit expectations to €490 million to €520 million, up from earlier forecasts in the €400 million to €440 million range.

The airline added that strong bookings after the Olympics and a lower than expected aviation fuel bill also helped in profit exceeding expectations. “Our 10 percent profit increase in the first-half combined with traffic growth of 7 percent during a period of high oil prices and continuing recession/austerity in Europe was another robust result," Ryanair said in a statement.

Nonetheless, it expects a tough operating environment to continue as overall fuel costs rose by a quarter to €218 million with the average cost of oil over the period rising to US$98 per barrel from US$83 a barrel.

It also said, "Further airline failures and consolidation are inevitable." Last week Ryanair announced nine new routes and pleaded with the European Commission not block its proposed merger with Aer Lingus.

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Ryanair profits lifted by fare hikes
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