Budget carrier Ryanair has turned in a first-quarter profit after tax of €245 million ($271 million), a rise of 25%.

The airline generated the surplus on the back of a 10% increase in revenues to €1.65 billion.

Although passenger numbers rose by 16%, the carrier says its average fare fell by 4% as a result of the timing of the Easter holiday period, weaker yields in April and fewer checked bags.

Unit costs for the airline fell by 7% over the three-month period, Ryanair states in its financial results to 30 June.

Ryanair says it is expanding its winter schedules and, as a consequence, raising its full-year passenger target to 103 million.

It forecasts that traffic in the second half will rise more quickly than in the first, and the airline expects to ground fewer aircraft – around 40 – over the winter period.

Ryanair says it otherwise has “very little visibility” for the second half but predicts that its planned 15% capacity hike, combined with lower fuel prices, could lead to an “aggressive” response in pricing from competitors.

“We therefore remain very cautious about weaker prices and yields this winter,” it states.

It believes that slightly-better yields over the first half will nudge its full-year profit to the “upper end” of its €940-970 million estimate, although this remains “heavily reliant” on second-half fares.

Source: Cirium Dashboard