Ryanair, Europe's largest low cost carrier, announced record net profits of 64.4m for the first quarter from April to June, a 21% increase on the same period for 2004.
The Irish airline also said traffic grew by 30% to 8.5m passengers, yields went up by 3% and total revenues rose by 35% to 404.6m.
But its ceo Michael O'Leary said the airline's outlook for the rest of the year was “cautious” because of the expected continued high fuel prices.
Mr O'Leary said the 3% rise in yields, despite a 30% increase incapacity, was better then expected and mainly due to the fuel surcharges levies by the “European flag carriers.”
He said Ryanair had “significantly benefited” from its decision not to impose surcharges.
During the quarter, Ryanair's fuel charges rose by112% to 109.9m, the largest single item of operating costs. Prices still remain at or near a record high.
Mr O'Leary said the airline was “unhedged” for August but was 90% hedged at $57 a barrel for September and 90% hedged at $49 a barrel though winter until March 2006. It also hoped to “hedge” for the early summer of 2006.
Despite his caution for the rest of 2005, Mr O'Leary said the fuel costs would be partly offset by other cost reductions and the “benign yield environment.”
He said the airline planned to grow capacity by 27% to 35m passengers this year.
But he warned that further terrorist attacks on London could have a “downward impact” and that there would still be “intense competition and that there would be fewer low fare carriers in the European market” as fuel costs forced out loss making airlines.