Ryanair Profit Jumps on Lower Costs; Outlook Cut

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DUBLIN (AP) – Irish no-frills airline Ryanair Holdings PLC reported surging first-quarter profits Monday, citing sharply lower fuel costs and a business model that thrives during recession. The company slashed its profit outlook, however, causing shares to slump.The carrier said net profit for the three-month period ending June 30 was euro136.5 million ($194.5 million) compared to euro21 million in the same quarter of 2008.Sales were virtually flat at euro774.7 million ($1.1 billion) versus euro776.9 million a year ago. But fuel costs fell 41.6 percent to euro214.1 million.Deputy Chief Executive Michael Cawley said Ryanair would discount average fares ''precipitously'' in coming months to keep its aircraft as full as possible. This would allow Ryanair to maximize the revenue it gets from car and hotel bookings, luggage charges, credit-card fees and on-board sales.Cawley narrowed Ryanair's forecast of full-year net profit to a range between euro200 million and euro250 million. Ryanair previously guided that net profits could reach euro300 million.Investors dumped Ryanair stock on the news. The shares fell 10 percent to euro3. …