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Irish court lifts restriction on Ryanair profit target

DUBLIN (Reuters) - An Irish court on Tuesday withdrew a ban on reporting a reference to Ryanair's <RYA.I> profit after tax target for the airline's 2020 financial year contained in a 2018 share option scheme after the airline said the order was not needed.

A lawyer representing former Ryanair Chief Operating Officer Peter Bellew last Thursday asked Chief Executive Michael O'Leary if it was accurate that a 2018 share option scheme contained a profit-after-tax target for the 12 months to March, 31 2020 of 1.75 billion euros (£1.50 billion).

O'Leary replied that the information was commercially sensitive and should not be released to the court. His lawyer then asked the judge to impose a ban on reporting the figure, which was lifted on Tuesday.

"I will vacate the order," said Judge Senan Allen.

Ryanair, which has been forced to cut its passenger growth rate due to delays in the delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX, on Nov. 4 said it expected to post profit after tax of between 800 million and 900 million euros in its 2020 financial year.

(Reporting by Conor Humprhies, editing by Padraic Halpin, editing by Louise Heavens)