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Ryanair shrugs off profit risks from Brexit

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Ryanair shrugs off profit risks from Brexit
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Ryanair has said it remains on track for its highest ever profit in the current financial year, up around 13 percent on last year.

Ryanair will pivot growth away from UK airports due to Brexit.

Michael O'Leary Chief Executive

The Irish low-cost airline is confident of not being too badly hit by the effects of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, thanks to strong bookings through to September taken before the referendum.

In addition Ryanair is only dependent on Britain for about a quarter of its revenue, compared to around half for rival easyJet.

Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said Ryanair will also “pivot growth away from UK airports” due to Brexit.

The airline believes risks from Brexit may force it to cut profit forecasts later in the year, but O’Leary said he “did not see the evidence to justify a cut” right now.

He said Ryanair still sees profits after tax of between 1.375 billion euros and 1.425 billion euros.

“I don’t think any other airline in Europe will be delivering or forecasting that kind of profit growth,” he said in a pre-recorded video presentation. “But all of the clouds on the horizon suggest there are significant risks to the downside in the second half of the year.”

Last week easyJet said it was unable to give an earnings forecast in the aftermath of Brexit, a deadly attack in Nice and an attempted coup in Turkey, while Germany’s Lufthansa warned on profit.

Eastern European-focused budget airline Wizz Air last week also reiterated its pre-Brexit profit forecast after announcing plans to shift significant capacity away from the UK market.

Much of the impact of Brexit for airlines operating in Britain depends on the final terms of its separation from the EU, which may not become clear for months or years.

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