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Ryanair profits rise, but Brexit a headache

Irish airline Ryanair has reported a decent rise in first-quarter profits not least due to growing traffic and reduced fuel costs. But future earnings look set to be impacted by the aftermath of the UK's Brexit vote.


Irish airline Ryanair has reported a decent rise in first-quarter profits not least due to growing traffic and reduced fuel costs. But future earnings look set to be impacted by the aftermath of the UK’s Brexit vote.
Europe’s No. 1 budget carrier on Monday reported a 4-percent rise in its first-quarter profit to 256 million euros ($280 million).

“This modest increase in Q1 profit is in line with previous guidance,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said in a statement.

“Ongoing market volatility arising from terrorist events and repeated strikes particularly in France weakened fares on close-in bookings and caused almost 1,000 flight cancellations.”

Ryanair said its Q1 traffic increased by 11 percent, while average fares fell by 10 percent in the same quarter.

Looking to strengthen EU business

But the carrier was able to offset lower fares as unit costs dropped by 9 percent and fuel costs fell by 42 million euros to 518 million euros.

The Irish airline said the recent UK vote to leave the European Union was “both a surprise and a disappointment.” It added it expected the result of the vote to lead to a protracted period of political and economic uncertainty in both the UK and the EU.

In the near term, Ryanair said it would brace itself for a weaker pound and downward pressure on fares until the end of 2017 at least.

The airline added it would pivot its growth away from UK airports and shift more of its operations to Ryanair’s EU hubs over the next two years.

hg/sri (Reuters, dpa)


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