DUBLIN, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Ryanair (RYA.I) on Monday forecast a record annual profit and promised to pay investors a regular dividend for the first time after fares soared 24% during its key summer season.
Europe's largest airline by passenger numbers said it expects an after-tax profit of between 1.85 billion and 2.05 billion euros for the year to end-March, easily beating its previous record of 1.45 billion euros in 2018.
The low-cost pioneer earned 2.18 billion euros in the six months to the end of September, the first half of its financial year, 59% ahead of its previous record for the period, set last year.
Traffic in the period was up 11% to 105 million passengers while fares were 24% higher than last year, the airline said in a statement.
The airline announced its maiden ordinary dividend of 400 million euros, split between an interim payment of 200 million euros in February and a final dividend of 200 million euros in September next year.
For subsequent financial years under a new dividend policy, Ryanair plans to return approximately 25% of the after-tax profit posted the previous year by way of ordinary dividend, the airline said.
Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.