Ryanair cuts full-year profit forecast on pound slide

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Dublin (AFP)

Irish no-frills airline Ryanair has cut its full-year net profit forecast by five percent owing to the pound's slump since Britain voted in June to exit the EU.

"The primary cause of this slightly lower growth in full year profitability is the 18 percent fall of sterling post Brexit which will reduce second half average fares," the Dublin-based airline said in a statement.

The pound's tumble is reducing the amount Ryanair earns from its key British market once the currency is converted into euros -- the unit of Ireland and which Ryanair uses to price its earnings.

Ryanair said it was cutting its 2016/17 net profit forecast by five percent to between 1.3 billion euros and 1.35 billion euros ($1.4 billion and $1.5 billion). Its financial year runs to the end of March.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary added in the statement that "stronger traffic growth and better cost control" would contribute to offsetting the hit in revenues, adding that the British market represents about one-quarter of the group's total income.