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article imageRyanair slides into loss, reassures on annual profit

By AFP     Feb 3, 2014 in Business

Ryanair fell into an expected loss during its third quarter as lower fares and an unfavourable exchange-rate offset rising passenger numbers, the Irish no-frills airline said on Monday.

The airline reported a loss after tax of 35.2 million euros ($47.5 million) in the three months to the end of December. That contrasted with net profit of 18.1 million euros in the same period a year earlier.

"Our third-quarter loss of 35 million euros is in line with previous guidance and is entirely due to a 9.0-percent fall in average fares and weaker sterling" against the euro, Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said in the group's earnings statement.

Ryanair's share price however jumped as the Dublin-based carrier said it did not expect full-year net profit to come in any lower than 500-520 million euros -- an estimate made last November in a shock profit warning.

It had previously forecast earnings at the lower end of a 570-600 million euros range.

Ryanair is meanwhile seeking to soften its much-criticised public image of being a company that is lacking in good customer service.

It recently simplified its online booking process and launched a new homepage after customers regularly complained about the confusing and long procedure.

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