- Budget carrier Ryanair reported a flat first-half profit and narrowed its full-year guidance range.

Net profit for the six months through September was unchanged at €1.15bn, even as revenue rose 11% to €4.84bn amid an 11% rise in passenger volumes.

Ryanair said it expected to post a net profit for the full year of between €800m and €900m, narrowing its previous guidance range of between €750m and €950m.

In the first half, the company's fuel bill rose 22% to €1.59bn, due to higher prices and the 11% traffic growth.

Ex-fuel unit costs rose 2%, primarily due to higher staff costs, increased pilot pay and higher-than-expected crew ratios.

The company was also hit by higher maintenance due to Boeing MAX delivery delays forcing it to use older aircraft, and costs associated with the consolidation of Lauda.

Delivery of the group's first B737-MAX-200 aircraft had been repeatedly delayed from the second quarter of 2019.

Ryanair said it now expected its first MAX aircraft to be delivered in March/April 2020 at the earliest. However, it said the risk of further delay was rising.

'Our outlook for the remainder of the year remains cautious,' Ryanair said.

'We try to avoid the unreliable optimism of some competitors.'

'Full year traffic will grow 8% to 153m but we expect a slightly better fare environment than last winter, although we have limited second-half visibility.'

'This however remains sensitive to any market uncertainty such as a 'no deal' Brexit.'

Ryanair said it expected ancillary revenues will grow ahead of traffic growth, supporting full-year revenue per guest growth of 2% to 3%.

The full-year fuel bill would rise by €450m and ex-fuel unit costs by 2%.

Lauda's losses, meanwhile, would be higher than originally expected, due to overcapacity in Austria and Germany.

'We are therefore narrowing our full year guidance to a new range of €800m to €900m profit after tax,' Ryanair said.

'This guidance is heavily dependent on close in second-half fares, Brexit and the absence of any security events.'

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