RYANAIR has reported pre-tax profits of €341m (£289m) for the year to March – and announced a one-off dividend to shareholders.
Passenger numbers were up 14 per cent on last year while revenue jumped two per cent.
investors will share a dividend pot of €500m on the strength of the results.
The profit represents an almost 200 per cent rise on the previous year.
However, Ryanair said times were tough for the airline industry, with the disruption from the Icelandic volcanic ash – not included in the results – costing it an estimated €50m.
Ryanair's chief executive Michael O'Leary, who will receive €20m because of the size of his shareholding, said: "We are piling it high and selling it even cheaper."
The company added in a statement: "We can be proud of delivering a 200 per cent increase in profits and traffic growth during a global recession when many of our competitors have announced losses or cutbacks, while more have gone bankrupt."
Ryananir said that 9,400 flights were cancelled and 1.5m passengers lost during the ash crisis.
Meanwhile it warned that "unfair and disproportionate".