Ryanair reports soaring profits but warns of headwinds

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Ryanair has reported record annual results, despite it having to cancel thousands of flights in September due to problems with pilots’ rotas.

The Irish airline said profits rose 10% to €1.45bn (£1.27bn), despite the wave of bad publicity.

However, it warned higher costs would make the year ahead more difficult.

The outlook for the coming year was “on the pessimistic side of cautious”, chief executive Michael O’Leary said in a statement.

The carrier said passenger numbers had risen by 9% to 130.3 million in the 12 months to the end of March,

That increase was stimulated by lower fares, it said, with Germany, Italy and Spain the three largest growth markets.

Ryanair said it expected to carry 7% more passengers in the coming year, but said costs would rise by 9%, including staff costs and the oil price. However, fares are expected to remain unchanged.

Last year, mismanagement of pilots’ rotas led to about 20,000 flights being cancelled. As a result Ryanair has begun to recognise trade unions, something the airline had always resisted.

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