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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 May, 2005, 07:14 GMT 08:14 UK
Ryanair boasts 19% jump in profit
Ryanair plane
Ryanair says its summer advance bookings are strong
Budget airline Ryanair has reported a 19% rise in annual profits and said it remains upbeat about the coming year.

The Dublin-based carrier said its adjusted profits after tax rose to 268.9m euros (184m; $337m), from 226.6m euros in the previous year.

Ryanair, which has been cutting prices amid stiff competition from rivals, said its advance bookings for the summer months had been strong.

However, it warned that high fuel costs continued to threaten its business.

'Positive outlook'

Ryanair said it planned to budget for higher oil prices, hedging 75% of the coming winter's fuel needs at rates equivalent to $47 a barrel.

Clearly fuel costs remain high and the market is volatile
Michael O'Leary, Ryanair

"Our outlook for the coming 12 months is more positive than it was this time last year," said chief executive Michael O'Leary.

However, he added: "Clearly fuel costs remain high, and the market is volatile."

Ryanair's revenue increased by 24% to 1.34bn euros, while the company's passenger volumes rose 19% to 27.6 million.

But the airline's revenue per passenger rate increased by 2% in the twelve months to the end of March, despite a 16% rise in capacity.

Ryanair's shares were up 3.4% at 6.3 pence by mid-afternoon.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary on Ryanair's 'positive outlook'

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