Budget airline Ryanair (LON:RYA) posted strong results this morning, disclosing a 37 percent rise in half-yearly pre-tax profit and a 13 percent jump in passenger numbers.

The company also upped its growth target, and now expects to have 180 million passengers a year within a decade; 20 million higher than its previous forecast.

Revenue also rose 14% to just over €4 billion in the six months to September, as Ryanair became the first EU airline to carry more than 10 million passengers in July.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary said in a statement:

“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.”

Cost-cutting measures in place include an agreement to buy 95% of its fuel at $62 a barrel, estimated to save around €430 million in 2017, and the addition of the new Boeing 737-800 aircraft to the fleet is hailed to cost less than most of its existing planes.

O’ Leary commented: “This combination of lower aircraft and fuel costs will enable Ryanair to continue to lower fares and grow market share.”


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