Ryanair reports record annual profit despite sharp falls in average fares due to overcapacity and Britain's vote to leave the European Union, and promised higher profits and lower fares next year. Kate King reports.
A turning point for low cost-airline Ryanair, posting record profits of 1.4 billion dollars. That's despite sterling slipping against the euro, weakening the company's ticket sales. SOUNDBITE (English) JUSTIN URQUHART STEWART, HEAD OF CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT, SEVEN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, SAYING: "These are actually very good figures indeed. And the key focus for them has been actually two-fold. One, the traditional one they always look at which is the cost and are they providing real value to clients and that's always been their primary issue, but then also being nice because a member they had a reputation for being low cost and actually really rather unpleasant with it as well." That, reflected in passenger numbers, up 13 percent to 120 million in the year-end to March. And Ryanair's Chief Marketing Officer says future-proofing also played a part. SOUNDBITE (English) RYANAIR CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, KENNY JACOBS, SAYING: "We have also embraced digital more than any other airline in the world we have got over 21 million with 'My RyanAir' and we have got 21 million customers using our App. So digital has made a huge change in innovating Ryanair for our customers." But when it comes to Brexit the skies remain cloudy. Ryanair wants the UK government to take action, so it's not left out in the cold. SOUNDBITE (English) RYANAIR CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, KENNY JACOBS, SAYING: "We need to see a clear plan saying this is a new proposal on a brand new bilateral between the UK and Europe that will allow Open Skies to continue. Without that, we and other airline will move some capacity out of the UK." Despite the current challenges, it's cautiously forecasting an 8 percent increase in profits for the current financial year. And it expects to slash fares by a further 5 percent, as a reduction in fuel costs leads to over capacity in the market.