Ryanair lowers profit forecast amid tough competition

Fri, January 18, 2019 05:43 EST

LONDON (AP) — Budget airline Ryanair, Europe's biggest carrier by passengers, has warned its profits will be lower than expected — the second such downgrade in four months — because of weaker fares over the winter.

The company said Friday it expects full-year profit of between 1 billion euros and 1.1 billion euros, down from a range of 1.1 billion euros to 1.2 billion euros previously. It said that while traffic is up, winter fares are expected to fall 7 percent.

CEO Michael O'Leary noted there was stiff competition and expects some rival budget carriers to fall out of the market. Companies like WOW and Flybe have been up for sale after struggling financially.

O'Leary warned profits could be hit further if Brexit complicates air travel between the U.K. and other European countries.

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