Ryanair profits rocket 80 per cent


Low-fares airline Ryanair's profits soared by 80 per cent to €115.7 million (£79.3 million) during the last quarter, fuelled by ailing competitors and a late Easter period, the company today said.

During the three months to June 30th, the no-frills airline's passenger numbers increased by a quarter to 10.7 million, despite ticket prices rising by 13 per cent during the same period.

Group revenue climbed 40 per cent to €566.6 million (£387 million), partly on the back of a rise of one-third in ancillary revenues such as car hire.

Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's chief executive, attributed the growth in profits to more air travellers taking advantage of favourable weather in traditional Mediterranean destinations, as well as unpopular fuel surcharges on competitors' ticket prices.

Mr O'Leary explained he was pleased at Ferrovial's takeover of BAA, which among other things would spell an end to the "£4 billion gold-plated Taj Mahal" Stansted renewal project.

"We also welcome the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) probe into the present monopoly ownership of Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports. Monopolies do not work and do not serve the needs of consumers," he added.

"Ryanair will continue to strongly campaign for the break-up of the BAA airport monopoly, which has for many years delivered high passenger charges and abysmal facilities at the London airports."

But despite these healthy three-month results, the company's chief executive has explained that the outlook for the rest of 2006 financial year is "cautious", despite remaining confident that is will succeed in its aim of becoming the world's largest airline in terms of passenger traffic within the next 12 months.

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