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Ryanair soars to near-record annual profit

STORY: Ryanair soared to a near record full-year profit.

The Irish airline made $1.57 billion to the end of March 31.

Monday's (May 22) announcement was slightly better than analyst expectations and its own forecast.

The budget carrier is optimistic strong summer demand could lead to even more profit growth.

Ryanair expects traffic to grow by a tenth this year, and believes this could offset a $1.1 billion rise in its fuel bill.

The airline believes it could gain more from peak summer fares, which it said 'trended ahead of last year'.

CEO Michael O'Leary said he had no doubts that people are back travelling after two years of health crisis restrictions.

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Ryanair is not the only major European airline to see strong summer bookings.

Last week, budget rival easyJet also announced consumers were travelling once again, despite high inflation.

Ryanair shares are up more than a quarter so far this year, and traded 2% higher Monday morning.

O'Leary cautioned that winter and early 2024 may be more challenging.