Ryanair targets growth as profit soars to a record

 
Marion Dakers
BUDGET carrier Ryanair’s expansion throughout Europe has delivered a 13 per cent rise in annual profits.

Ryanair yesterday posted record post-tax profits of €569m (£480.7m), on revenues up 13 per cent to €4.88bn.

The rise in earnings outstripped a five per cent lift in passenger numbers to 79.3m. Ryanair’s ancillary revenues from baggage charges and reserved seating soared 20 per cent to €1.06bn in the year, now making up 22 per cent of revenue.

Ryanair, which has historically underestimated its performance in forecasts, gave a “cautious” prediction of three per cent traffic growth and a five per cent rise in profits in the coming year.

The company aims to increase its traffic to 100m passengers a year by 2019, as it puts new planes into circulation.

Deputy chief executive Howard Miller said Ryanair will bid for regional carrier Flybe’s 25 take-off and landing slots at Gatwick, but that Stansted remains its priority. “We would prefer, if there’s going to be another runway built, [for it] to be at Stansted,” he said.

But he said Ryanair is “not particularly” keen on Stansted becoming Britain’s hub airport, as it “doesn’t actively seek connecting traffic”.