Ryanair raises profit forecast

BUDGET airline Ryanair increased its profit forecast for the year after posting a smaller than expected third-quarter loss.

Europe's biggest low-cost airline said a drop in fuel prices had helped to improve the company's figures.

Ryanair's loss of €10.9m (£9.5m) in the three months to the end of December compared with a €118.8m net loss a year earlier.

Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said in a statement: "We have now increased our full-year net profit guidance to €275m from the lower end of the range of €200m to €300m previously guided."

Revenue increased by one percent in the third quarter to €612m and fares fell less than expected, allowing it to forecast that the fall in full-year yields – a measure of average fare levels – would be closer to 15 percent than the 20 per cent earlier guided.

The Irish-based airline claimed it would continue to pick up market share from rivals, and expected to do especially well in Italy, Scandinavia, Spain and the UK.