Ryanair hikes profit outlook by 25pc

Ryanair has seen its profits take off after a great escape from Britain’s damp summer combined with cheaper jet fuel to boost trading, reports The Telegraph.

The discount airline expects full-year profits to be in the range of €1.18bn to €1.23bn, which is 25 per cent higher than previous guidance.

Michael O’Leary, chief executive, said: “We have been surprised by the strength of close-in bookings and fares this summer during which we delivered record 95 per cent load factors in both July and August while fares grew by over 2 per cent, when we had expected them to be flat.”

Mr O’Leary said the industry as a whole had benefited from bad weather across Northern Europe, stronger sterling, which encouraged more UK families to holiday in the Med, and falling jet fuel prices.

The strength of the trading forced Ryanair to make the announcement two weeks earlier than the planned update at the shareholder annual general meeting on September 24.

Mr O’Leary was cautious on the outlook for the full-year to the end of March, adding: “Being the airline industry we do not expect these favourable conditions will persist, and we would urge shareholders and analysts to avoid irrational exuberance while we continue to execute our very ambitious growth plans during what we expect to be very attritional and sustained fare wars across Europe this winter.”

The Dublin-based airline first rolled out its “Always Getting Better” campaign in 2014, with a renewed emphasis on “being nice” to customers. It tripled its marketing spend to €35m and cut some of its most notorious fees, such as charging €70 to check in at an airport desk rather than online.