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Ryanair should clock over 90m passengers this year. That means some tidy profits

The company was worth over €13 billion on the share market today for the first time ever.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary
Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary
Image: Richard Drew/AP/Press Association Images

Updated at 4.12pm

RYANAIR’S SHARE VALUE hit €13 billion for the first time today on the news it should make even more money and carry extra passengers than expected this year.

The budget airline has predicted it will make up to €830 million for 2014-15 and top 90 million passengers for the 12 months.

Those figures were up from its forecast last month of between €750 and €770 million in profits and about 89 million customers.

Ryanair put the better performance down to its new customer-friendly approach, or “nice-over”, although it warned final profits for the year would depend heavily on the final period from January to March for which it had “very little visibility”.

The announcement sent the company’s share price soaring nearly 10% to a new high – which put its total share value at over €13 billion for the first time this morning.

Ryanair It's been a very good year for Ryanair Source: Yahoo Finance UK & Ireland

At a recent business forum, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said the company had built a very successful business on being cheap, “some would say cheap and nasty”.

“But we started on this journey about a year ago by trying something radically different in the Ryanair philosophy and that was being nice to people,” he told the Deloitte Enterprise Ireland CeoForum.

Perhaps it doesn’t come naturally to me, I’d be more inclined to rob the money out of your pocket but now, actually, we don’t want to rob the money out of your pocket we want you to save money on your travel and we will do our level best to be nice to you.

“If I had known 20 years ago that being nice to my customers was going to work so phenomenally well, I would have been nice to them I would have been nicer to them an awful lot earlier.”

Ryanair loaded up, Aer Lingus playing the long game

Ryanair said its November traffic was up 22% on last year to 6.35 million customers, while its load factor – the number of passengers carried compared to available seats – was also up significantly on the same month last year.

Its planes were 88% full for the month, despite it expanding its winter schedule and boosting capacity 13% compared to November 2013.

Meanwhile, Aer Lingus reported it carried 702,000 passengers last month – down 3.6% when compared to November 2013.

But its long-haul traffic was up a massive 28.4%. The national carrier has been shedding its less-profitable, short-haul routes during the low season to focus on the long-distance flights on which it makes the most money.

READ: Flight delay of 50 hours ‘beyond the control’ of Ryanair >

READ: ‘The more bureaucrats the worse it will get’ – Even Michael O’Leary hates Irish Water >

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Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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