Ryanair reports 32% boost in profits

<p>Ryanair has revised its full-year profit forecast following a boost over the past six months.</p>

Ryanair has announced a revision of its full-year profit forecast following a significant over the past six months.

The Irish budget airline recorded a 32 per cent rise in half-year net profit €795 million (£621 million) prompting to increase its full-year profit forecast from €650 million to between €750 million and €770 million. Ryanair also noted a four per cent boost in passenger numbers for the first half of 2014 and expects traffic to grow by 16 per cent over the coming months.

Ryanair's profit forecast came with a warning, however, with the company cautioning that the guidance was "heavily reliant" on the strength of its second-half bookings. It will be looking for passenger numbers to improve over the Christmas period heading into the winter months of January and February.

Other highlights from Ryanair's trading statement was that despite a boost in profits the company is looking to keep fares low. The airline's average fare grew by five per cent during the first half of the year to €54 but it wants to lower these in the future.

Ryanair will also be introducing a new fleet of aircraft. The Irish company has signed a deal for as many as 200 extra Boeing 737-MAX which will help to deliver extra legroom for passengers. The planes, expected to be delivered between 2019 and 2024 which will help to "significantly lower" its unit cost.

Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's chief executive officer, said: "We are pleased to report this significant increase in H1 profits.  

"While partially due to the presence of Easter in Q1 and a weak prior year comparable, we have also enjoyed a strong summer thanks to our strategy (announced September 2013), of raising forward bookings and improving our customer experience which has delivered higher load factors and yields."

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