Ryanair warns over 'perfect storm'

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The Independent Online

The budget airline Ryanair today warned a "perfect storm" of higher oil prices and weaker consumer demand could hit the firm next year.

The company said there was a "significant chance" its profits could fall in the year to March 2009 as a weaker pound and higher airport charges also weighed on the carrier.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary said: "The European airline sector is presently facing one of these cyclical downturns, with the possibility of a 'perfect storm."

The gloom came as Ryanair's profits for the three months to the end of December fell 27 per cent to 35 million euros (£26.4m) - described by Mr O'Leary as a "creditable performance in very adverse market conditions".

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