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Ryanair raises FY profit forecast to €540mn

Budget airline records strong pre-Christmas bookings

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Budget airline Ryanair has increased its annual profit projection from a €490-520 million range to around €540 million in a trading statement on Monday.

The budget carrier said the upward revision was down to strong pre-Christmas bookings and lower operating costs in the last three months of 2012. It reported an €18.1 million (£15.4 million) profit after tax in the three months to December, its fiscal third quarter, up 21 percent on an annualised basis.

Ryanair said that it also benefited from an 8 percent rise in average fares, lifting overall revenues by 15 percent to €969 million. The airline added that fares would continue to rise next year.

On its on-going bid for rival airline Aer Lingus, Ryanair said it had submitted a radical and unprecedented remedies package to the European Union in support of its offer.

“We believe these remedies address every current Ryanair/Aer 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 take over and operate a substantial part of Aer Lingus' existing route network and short-haul business,” it added.

The airline claimed it would 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," the company said of its third attempt to take over the Irish flag carrier.



Ryanair raises FY profit forecast to €540mn
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