Ryanair’s profits take off following damp summer

File photo dated 02/07/12 of a Ryanair plane, as the no frills airline became the latest airline to thank the wet summer weather and strong pound for helping profits take off as it upped its outlook for the full year. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday September 9, 2015. The airline said holidaymakers booking last minute deals to escape the dismal end to the summer helped its passenger numbers jump 13% in the first half of its financial year and is expecting a 15% hike in the third quarter. See PA story CITY Ryanair. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
File photo dated 02/07/12 of a Ryanair plane, as the no frills airline became the latest airline to thank the wet summer weather and strong pound for helping profits take off as it upped its outlook for the full year. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday September 9, 2015. The airline said holidaymakers booking last minute deals to escape the dismal end to the summer helped its passenger numbers jump 13% in the first half of its financial year and is expecting a 15% hike in the third quarter. See PA story CITY Ryanair. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
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Ryanair became the latest airline to thank the wet summer weather and strong pound for helping profits take off as it upped its outlook for the full year.

The Irish no frills airline said holidaymakers booking last minute deals to escape the dismal end to the summer helped its passenger numbers jump 13% in the first half of its financial year and is expecting a 15% hike in the third quarter.

It is now pencilling in annual profits of between 1.18 billion euro (£856 million) to 1.23 billion euro (£892 million) for the year to the end of March - a sharp rise on the 867 million euro (£606 million) it posted the year before and a 25% increase on its previous forecast.

The recent poor weather, which saw some parts of the UK endure the wettest end to the summer in 50 years, spurred many to jet off to beach destinations, while Britons have also been travelling abroad to take advantage of the strong pound.

Last week, fellow budget carrier easyJet also increased its profit guidance after notching up record passenger numbers in July and August.

Airlines have been helped further by cheaper fuel costs as the price of oil has tumbled in recent months.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “We have been surprised by the strength of close-in (late) bookings and fares this summer.”

“We have clearly benefited from favourable industry trends this summer including bad weather in Northern Europe, stronger sterling encouraging more UK families to holiday in the Med, reasonably flat capacity across the EU industry and lower prices for our unhedged oil,” he added.

But he cautioned shareholders against “irrational exuberance” after the profits guidance hike, stressing the recent boost enjoyed by the airline industry is not expected to continue.