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Ryanair blames strikes for fall in half-year profits

Ryanair has reported a 7% fall in profits for the first half of the year, blaming repeated staff strikes that pushed up the number of flight cancellations over the period.
The budget airline said on Monday that it saw a spike in cancellations of its higher fare weekend flights in particular, over the six-month period.
It said that average fares fell 3% due to excess capacity in Europe, adding that an earlier Easter in the first quarter also contributed to the profit shortfall.Profits dropped to €1.2bn (€1.06bn) for the six months to September 30 2018, compared with €1.29bn euro (€1.14bn) the previous year.The airline's chief executive, Michael O'Leary, said that while ancillary revenues - such as luggage and seat reservation fees - were up 27%, they were offset by higher fuel, staff and compensation costs.He added: "Our traffic, which was repeatedly impacted by the worst summer of air traffic control disruptions on record, grew 6% at an unchanged 96% load factor."Shares were up just over 4% by the close of trading.
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