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Brexit not clipping Ryanair’s wings

Profits rose 7% in its first half, while it is raising the number of passengers it expects to carry in the coming years

ryanair planes lined up at an airport
Ryanair expects to carry more than 200mln passengers each year by 2024

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, low-cost airline Ryanair Holdings PLC (LON:RYA) saw profits and passengers grow in the first half of its financial year.

Ryanair carried 64.8mln to various destinations around the world in the six months to September 30.

This continued strong demand from holidaymakers has forced the Irish carrier to raise its long-term traffic forecasts by 10%.

The budget airline now estimates that it will be carrying more than 200mln passengers each year by 2024.

The news came as Ryanair posted growth across the board in its half-year report.

Revenue was up 2% to €4.1bn for the period, while profits after tax gained 7% to just shy of €1.2bn.

“We are pleased to report this 7% increase in H1 profits, which was a creditable performance in difficult market conditions due to repeated [air traffic control] strikes, terror events, and the adverse economic impact of the Brexit vote,” said chief executive Michael O’Leary.

Despite the progress made in the past six months, Ryanair – which campaigned heavily for the UK to remain in the EU – said it was “cautious” in its outlook for the rest of the year.

Last month, the airline lowered its full-year forecasts because of Brexit uncertainty, and it repeated that guidance today that it expects to report net profits of €1.3bn to €1.35bn.

Shares were up 5% to €13.42.

Quick facts: Ryanair Holdings plc

Price: 9.464 EUR

Market: LSE
Market Cap: €10.32 billion

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