'Nice' Ryanair raises profit forecast sending shares soaring

Michael O’Leary’s new outlook for Ryanair has led to a stellar year for the budget airline

Lucy Tobin
Thursday 04 December 2014 12:42
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Ryanair Chief Executive Officer Michael O'Leary
Ryanair Chief Executive Officer Michael O'Leary

Shares in Ryanair rose 8 per cent in London trading after budget airline raised its annual profit forecast for the fourth time this year following its image overhaul.

The carrier has already flown 85.4 million customers this year — 5 per cent more than the same time last year — after its inimitable chief executive Michael O’Leary decided the airline should “stop unnecessarily pissing people off.”

Ryanair now reckons its full year, post-tax profit could be as high as €830 million — up from its previous range of €750 million to €770 million. That fourth upgrade follows Ryanair telling the City at the start of its financial year that profits could start at €580 million.

The budget airline will fly more than 90 million passengers this year — a million more than it last predicted. In November, the first month of Ryanair’s bigger winter schedule when it flew 13 per cent more seats and new city routes designed to appeal to business fliers, traffic numbers rose by 22% to 6.35 million.

Its planes were 7 per cent fuller with popular new flights including Stansted to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Lisbon, Cologne and Athens.

During the year, it’s also scrapped unpopular fees, revamped its website, increased the carry-on baggage allowance and aped rival easyJet by offering allocated seating. Ryanair’s complaints are down 40 per cent to 80,000 letters a year, O’Leary has reported.

The airline has ordered another 200 planes in the last six months to boost its network. Shares rose 67 cents at €9.38.

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