BUDGET carrier Ryanair today raised full year profit forecasts after a strong third quarter result today.
The airline, the second biggest carrier by passenger numbers at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, saw profits after tax rise by 21% to £16m on current exchange rates, on turnover of about £865m, which was 15% ahead.
The profits were achieved despite a £72.3m increase in fuel costs, the airline said.
Passenger figures for the quarter were 3% ahead at 17.3m.
Chief executive Michael O’Leary said today: “Our quarter three profit of 18m euros was ahead of expectations due to strong pre-Christmas bookings at higher yields.”
However, the airline said quarter four traffic, as it previously warned, will drop by about 400,000 passengers, or a 3% decline, below last year’s fourth quarter level, due to its grounding of up to 80 aircraft which limits the impact of high oil prices, high airport fees and seasonally weaker fourth quarter demand.
It said that, on the basis of its improved third quarter result and capacity cuts, it expects its full year profits to exceed its previous guidance, of between £437.5m to £464m, and rise close to £482m, which would be a 7% increase on last year’s profits, despite a 19% increase in its oil costs.