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Ryanair takes off on pent-up customer demand

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Ryanair reported profits of €211 million (£185 million) for the last three months, nearly triple its profits for the same period pre-Covid (€88m).

The Ireland-based airline said pent-up travel demand over the October half-term and Christmas holidays led to a bumper quarter.

The company’s revenues increased by 57% to €1.47 billion while passenger numbers were 7% higher than before the pandemic, with 38.4 million using the airline during the quarter.

The company has also added 230 routes and said it is expanding in Ireland, Italy, Poland and Spain, while more than 95% of crews have also had their pay cuts restored.

The board reaffirmed its FY23 profit after tax guidance of between €1.325bn and €1.425bn, however, it warned that this remains dependent on avoiding any adverse events in the fourth quarter, such as Covid and/or the war in Ukraine.

Michael O’Leary, chief executive, said the company has added a further 11 aircraft which have 4% fewer seats and use 16% less fuel.

Shares in Legal & General closed 5.30p (2.03%) lower at 255.5p after Sir Nigel Wilson announced he is stepping down from the group. Analysts said he would be a tough act to follow. Full story and reaction here

Gambling group 888 announced the departure of its chief executive and said it was suspending some VIP accounts in the Middle East pending the outcome of an internal compliance investigation.

It comes just weeks after announcing that chief financial officer Yariv Dafna had “mutually agreed” to step down from the business, 888 announced that CEO Itai Pazner is stepping down with immediate effect.

Paperchase could collapse and appoint administrators as soon as tomorrow.

Sky News said that the stationary chain could appoint insolvency practitioners from Begbies Traynor on Tuesday.

After opening in the red the FTSE 100 turned positive and closed 19.72 points higher at 7,784.87 as investors look ahead to a big week for interest rate decisions.


Philips

Dutch company Philips is axeing 6,000 jobs to restore its profitability, following a recall of respiratory devices that knocked off 70% of its market value.

Half of the job cuts will be made this year, the company said, adding that the other half will be realised by 2025.

The reorganisation comes on top of a plan announced last October to reduce its workforce by 5%, or 4,000 jobs.


Global markets

Investors will be focused on interest rate calls in the UK, US and Europe later this week, with expectations of more rises.

Q4 German GDP numbers are due out and are are expected to show the economy in ground to a halt.

Elsewhere, housebuilders will be in focus on reports the government is close to agreeing a multi-billion pound deal with the sector to help resolve the cladding crisis exposed by the 2017 Grenfell Tower disaster.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index was up 0.2%. In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.2%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 2.4%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed down 0.2%.

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