Ryanair flying high with profits up 21%

Ryanair is flying high today after figures reveal the company’s profit was up 21% in the last 3 months of 2012. Despite a 24% hike in fuel prices and increasing airport fees, the company reports €18m of profit in the third quarter of last year.

Fares have gone up 8% and customers now face baggage fees and additional booking charges. Michael O’Leary, Chief Executive Officer of Ryanair has said the rise in fares “reflects (their) improved customer service, record punctuality and the successful roll out of … reserved seating service.”

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Passengers seem to agree as Ryanair now boasts 17.3m customers – an increase of 3% in just 3 months. A survey conducted by the company in December revealed 95% of their passengers thought the airline was good value for money. 83% of passengers indicated they were pleased with their flights.

Chief Operations Officer Mr Crowley added “strong demand out of the UK, out of Germany and out of Scandinavia” had boosted Ryanair’s bottom line.

Although they are Europe’s largest budget airline, Ryanair do not have enough planes to match their ambitions. The airline’s capacity will only rise between 2 – 3% instead of the 4% they had predicted earlier.

The company have turned their attention once again to acquiring AerLingus. This would be Ryanair’s third attempt to buy their rival after they were refused permission by the European Commission last year.

“This will be the first EU airline merger which will deliver structural divestitures and multiple upfront buyers. We look forward to completing our offer for Aer Lingus subject to receiving approval from the EU competition authorities in early March”, says Mr Crowley.

Fares at Ryanair will continue to increase in the next year. The company have now forecast profits up to €540m, an increase of approximately €35m from earlier estimates.