Ryanair lifts FY outlook after 10% rise in interim profits

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Irish budget carrier Ryanair has raised its full year outlook after a posting a 10% increase in first half profits after tax to €596 million ($765 million).

Ryanair lifted revenues 15% to €3.11 billion for the six months ending 30 September, reflecting a 7% increase in passengers and a 6% improvement in average fares.

Unit costs were up 8% large due to higher fuel costs, though the airline says its fuel bill was lower than forecast after implementing its fuel savings programmes.

"Our Q2 yield and fuel cost performance was better than we originally anticipated which has boosted our profitability," says chief executive Michael O'Leary. "Recession, competition and very low fare competition at new bases will constrain profitability during H2, although we now expect full year yields to rise by up to 4%.

"Notwithstanding these concerns, and given our H1 performance we feel it would be appropriate to raise our FY profit guidance from its previous range of €400m to €440m to a new range of €490m to €520m."