Ryanair says Q1 profits climb

Revenue swelled ten percent to 1.653 billion euros in the same period, and passenger numbers gained 16 percent to 28 million customers.

London: Irish no-frills airline Ryanair said on Monday that net profits jumped by almost a quarter in the first three months of its financial year, helped by keen demand and cost-cutting.

Earnings after taxation rallied almost 25 percent to 245 million euros ($270 million) in the three months to June 30, compared with 197 million euros in the same part of the previous fiscal year, Ryanair said in a results statement.

Revenue swelled ten percent to 1.653 billion euros in the same period, and passenger numbers gained 16 percent to 28 million customers.

"We are pleased to report strong growth in traffic and profits in Q1," said Chief Executive Michael O`Leary.

"Our mix of low fares, best on time performance and enhanced customer experience ... continues to attract millions of new customers. At the same time our focus on cost enables us to pass on lower fares to customers."

Earlier this month, meanwhile, Ryanair finally accepted International Airlines Group`s bid for its near 30 percent stake in Irish rival Aer Lingus, clearing the way for end of a drawn-out takeover.

IAG, parent of British Airways and Iberia, had made a takeover bid valuing Aer Lingus at 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) that had repeatedly been rejected by Ryanair.

Ryanair itself had previously launched three unsuccessful takeover attempts for Aer Lingus.

"As the Ryanair brand develops and continues to grow strongly, the original rationale for acquiring Aer Lingus no longer exists," the airline added on Monday.

"If the IAG offer is successful, then we would expect to receive these proceeds in mid/late September and the board will consider our use of the proceeds around the time of our annual general meeting."

Turning to the outlook, Ryanair forecast that its full-year profit would be "towards the upper end" of its guidance range of between 940 million euros and 970 million euros.

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