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Ryanair profits rise by 66%

Irish airline Ryanair recorded a 66 percent jump in profit after tax for the year to March after the number of passengers jumped around three times the targeted level.

Ryanair profits rise by 66%

Ryanair is Europe's largest airline by passenger numbers. The company released a statement saying that its profit after tax was 867 million euros and is expected to reach between 940 million and 970 million this year. The numbers of passenger increased 11 percent to 90 million, compared to the 4 percent growth targeted at the start of the year.

Ryanair said that the growth was largely due to improved customer service of the airline that has brought in lower fees, flexible tickets for business travellers and a move away from small regional airports.

"Thanks to our lowest fares, our growth into primary airports and the remarkable impact of our 'Year 1 Always Getting Better' programme, we continue to experience strong demand and forward booking momentum," Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said in a statement.

The statement added that the fares of the airline would be "broadly flat" in the six months to September. The airline's main rival easyJet has said revenue per seat would be down by about four percentage points in the three months to June.

Ryanair is hoping to increase passenger numbers by 10 percent in the year to March 2016, with around half of this at primary airports and about half at smaller regional airports.

According to the airline, its advance ookings to September are on average 4 percent ahead of last year. Ryanair's share closed at 10.88 euros on Monday, up 58 percent compared to a year ago.