Ryanair has raised profit forecasts for the whole year while announcing a quarter three net profit of €49 million.
This compares to a quarterly loss of €35 million at the same stage of 2013.
Traffic grew 14 per cent to 21 million customers during the period, as average fares rose two per cent to €40.
Revenues grew 17 per cent to €1,132 million while unit costs fell six per cent.
Load Factors rose six points from 82 to 88 per cent thanks in part to a significantly expanded winter schedule.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “These strong results confirm that our Always Getting Better customer programme and our expanded business schedules, coupled with our substantial fare and cost advantage over competitor airlines is drawing millions of new customers to Ryanair.”
“Our significantly expanded winter schedule, which includes more primary airports, city pairs and business friendly frequencies has converted millions of new customers to flying Ryanair.”
As previously guided, Ryanair expects full year traffic will rise to just over 90 million as load factors rise to 87 per cent.
As a result the airline is are raising our full year net profit guidance to a range of €840 million to €850 million.
This is up from €810 million to €830 million.
A €520 million special dividend, at €0.375 per share, will be paid on February 27th.
On the issue of the proposed takeover of Aer Lingus by rival International Airlines Group, Ryanair kept its cards close to its chest.
A statement added: “Since Ryanair has received no formal approach, or offer for our shares in Aer Lingus, we will not engage in any speculation about this proposal, other than to restate our position which is that the Board of Ryanair will carefully consider any such offer, should one be received, from IAG or any other party, in due course.”