Ryanair reports big rise in profits

Net profit for the year to the end of March rose 66 per cent to €867m (£614m; $948m), slightly ahead of analysts’ expectations, reports The BBC.

The airline’s “Always Getting Better” customer experience programme had attracted “millions of new customers to Ryanair”, chief executive Michael O’Leary said.

Falling oil prices also reduced operating costs.

“Our AGB programme is transforming our customer experience, our service, and the way we listen and respond to our customers,” Mr O’Leary said.

“We have won substantial traffic and share gains in all markets.”

Passenger traffic was up 11 per cent to 90.6 million customers, while total revenue rose 12 per cent to more than €5.6bn.

To cope with rising demand, Ryanair said it had ordered 183 Boeing 737-800 planes for delivery from 2014-18, and 200 Boeing 737 Max 200s from 2019-2023.

The new aircraft will be cheaper to finance and operate, with engines 18% more efficient than their predecessors, the company said.

Much of the growth in passenger numbers is being driven by its new Business Plus and Family Extra services, it added.