21/05/2012 08:24 BST

Ryanair Posts Record Profits But Warns On Slowdown In Europe

Budget airline Ryanair has posted a record €503m (£406m) profit for last year but warned turmoil in the eurozone could damage future results.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary said the results, up 25% from the year before, were "commendable."

"This 25% profit increase to a new record of €503m and 5% traffic growth during a year of higher oil prices, and deep recession in Europe was a commendable result,"he said in a statement.

However he warned high oil prices and the slowdown in Europe would hit profits for the current financial year. "We remain concerned about next winter as we have zero yield visibility but expect recession, austerity, currency concerns and lower fares at new and growing bases in Hungary, Poland, Provincial UK, and Spain will make it difficult to repeat this year’s record results."

The Dublin-based carrier flew 75.8 million passengers in the year to March 31, an increase of 5% on a year earlier and helping it to lift net profits by 25% to 502.6 million euro (£405 million).

O'Leary aso criticised government's treating the airline sector as a "cash cow" to fund their taxation.

"UK air passenger duty has caused traffic to decline by 6% since 2007, while the UK Government's 'do nothing' policy about runway capacity in the South East is encouraging traffic and tourism to bypass high-cost London airports in favour of expanding airports in Spain, France and Holland."