Ryanair profits soar after 'very rare' series of favourable events
Ryanair said its first-half profits soared 37% to 1.08 billion euro after a "very rare" series of favourable events.
The budget airline saw passenger numbers increase 13% to 58 million in the six months to the end of September, carrying more than 10 million passengers in July alone.
The airline also revised its full-year target up one million to 105 million, notably up on last year's 90.5 million total.
But the airline said its raised guidance depends on the strength of its bookings in the fourth quarter, which it admits it has "almost zero visibility on".
It added its load factor - how full each flight is - lifted by 4% to 93% over the period.
Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary put the strong first-half performance down to a combination of miserable weather, fuel savings and stronger sterling.
"We are pleased to report this strong set of results," he said.
"We have enjoyed a bumper summer due to a very rare confluence of favourable events including stronger sterling, adverse weather in northern Europe, reasonably flat industry capacity and further savings on our unhedged fuel."
He also pointed to the success of it Always Getting Better customer experience improvement programme, which he said helped drive stronger forward bookings and boost traffic growth.
Looking beyond the current year, Ryanair predicted it would fly 180 million passengers a year by 2024 - 20 million more than previously forecast, due to higher than expected load factors.
These passenger numbers would give the carrier almost a quarter of the European market.