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Ryanair warns on Brexit, plans to continue pivot away from UK

Staff Writer |
Ryanair Holdings reported lower profit in its recently ended financial year, after the prior year benefited from exceptional gains, but revenue rose as it carried more passengers.

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However, the Irish budget airline continued to warn about the "negative" effects of Brexit.

Ryanair said pretax profit in the year ended March 31 was EUR1.47 billion, down from EUR1.72 billion the year before.

Excluding the prior year's exceptional items, pretax profit would have risen from EUR1.40 billion.

Revenue, meanwhile, edged up 1.5% to EUR6.65 billion from EUR6.55 billion, as the number of customers carried rose by 13% to 120.0 million from 106.4 million.

Ryanair said its positive results came despite difficult trading conditions caused by the various terrorist attacks across European cities, a switch of charter capacity from North Africa, Turkey and Egypt to mainland Europe, and a sharp decline in sterling following the Brexit vote.

In response to those issues, Ryanair said it "improved" customer experience and "stimulated growth" with lower fares, in order to get more people on board.

Regarding the Brexit vote, which Ryanair publicly campaigned against, the airline warned on Tuesday that there will be "significant uncertainty" over flights between the UK and the EU from March 2019 onwards, until it gets clarity over the final terms of the UK's future trading relationship with the EU.

In the absence of such certainty, Ryanair said it will continue to pivot growth away from the UK in 2017 and 2018 in order to "capitalise on the many growth opportunities elsewhere in Europe".

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