Ryanair shares fall on lower Q1 profits

Ryanair shares fall after budget airline reports weaker Q1 profits, cites soft summer bookings

Associated Press

DUBLIN (AP) -- Ryanair shares are sliding after Europe's biggest budget airline reported lower first-quarter profits and said the current quarter could be weaker, too, if a summer of exceptional sunshine continues in Britain and Ireland.

The Dublin-headquartered airline said Monday its net profit for the April-June period fell 21 percent to 78 million euros ($103.5 million). Fuel costs rose 6 percent.

Chief Executive Michael O'Leary also blamed June strikes by French air traffic controllers and an unusually early Easter holiday in March for driving down quarterly business.

He says current bookings also are weaker than expected because typically sun-starved Britain and Ireland, the airline's two biggest bases, have been hot and dry for most of July.

Ryanair shares fell more than 3 percent Monday to a two-month low of 6.93 euros ($9.19).

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