Ryanair posted a 12% rise in third-quarter profit as rising passenger volumes offset lower ticket prices. Pre-tax profit in the three months through December rose to €106m, up from €95m in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 4% to €1.35bn and passenger volumes rose 6% to 28.8m. Ticket prices fell 4% to €32 per customer, though Ryanair's net margin gained 1 percentage point to 8%. Load factors also rose by 1 percentage point, to 96%. Ryanair maintained its full-year profit guidance range of €1.40bn to €1.45bn. 'We are pleased to report this 12% increase in profits during a very challenging Q3,' chief executive Michael O'Leary said. 'Following our pilot rostering failure in September, the painful decision to ground 25 aircraft ensured that punctuality of our operations quickly returned to our normal 90% average.' 'Our AGB customer service programme, coupled with 4% lower fares, stimulated 6% traffic growth to 30.4m at an industry leading 96% load factor.'
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