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Ryanair posts record profit for key summer season By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: General view of the Ryanair logo at their headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, September 16, 2021. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
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DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ryanair on Monday posted its largest ever after-tax profit for the first half of its financial year, which includes the key summer months, and said it hoped to post a profit of at least 1 billion euros for its full financial year.

The Irish airline, Europe’s largest by passenger numbers, said it had earned 1.371 billion euros ($1.36 billion) in the six months to the end of September.

That compared with a forecast of 1.385 billion in a company poll of analysts and its previous first-half record of 1.29 billion euros in the six months to end-September 2017.

Ryanair said it was hopeful it could deliver an after-tax profit of between 1 billion and 1.2 billion euros for the year to March 31.

“This cautious guidance will remain hugely dependent on not suffering adverse events this Winter as we did last, which were clearly beyond our control,” Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said in a statement.

Several rivals have provided relatively upbeat guidance in recent weeks with Wizz Air, British Airways-owner IAG (LON:) and Lufthansa all saying they were seeing continued strength in ticket sales despite inflation fears.

Ryanair, which unlike many airlines kept its pilots and crew up-to-date with their flying hours during the pandemic to take advantage of the swift rebound, flew a record 95 million passengers in the six months to the end of September.

It increased its passenger forecast for its financial year to 168 million from 166.5 million, significantly ahead of its previous annual record of 149 million reached before the pandemic brought the travel industry to a standstill.

($1 = 1.0053 euros)

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