(SHARECAST) – Budget airline Ryanair is still on track to match full-year profit forecasts despite a loss-making third quarter hit by strikes and bad weather that caused more than 3,000 flights to be cancelled.
The Irish outfit posted a net loss of €10.3m (£8.8m) for the three months to 31 December, compared with €10.9m a year ago. But it could have been worse had traffic not risen six percent to 17 million and average fares 15 percent.
Chief executive Michael O’Leary said the numbers were “disappointing” as the carrier had been on track to break even until the snow arrived.
But bosses reckon traffic and average fares will continue to benefit from a better mix of new routes and bases.
They are confident fourth-quarter and full-year results will be towards the upper end of the previously guided range of a net profit after tax of between €380m and €400m.
Management had only expected €350m to €375m a few months ago, but a strong first half convinced them to upgrade their outlook. Revenue for the six months to 30 September leapt 23 percent to €2.18bn and adjusted profit after tax grew 17 percent to €451.9m.
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