Stateside, markets were closed for Memorial Day; European stocks were subdued on more Greek debt stress yesterday but Asian shares climbed today with the Nikkei 225 hitting 20,423, almost 10 points up.
We start with a steep rise in profits for Ryanair: net profit up to March surged 66% to €867m. Part of the strong numbers were down to falling oil prices says the airline. Total revenues climbed 12% to €5.6bn. Traffic was up 11% to 90.6m as load factors rose from 83% to 88%.
The Irish airline has ordered 183 B737-800's for delivery from 2014-2018 plus 200 B737 Max 200's from 2019-2023 (including 100 option aircraft). These aircraft should be more economical to operate.
"We expect," says Ryanair, "over half of our growth to occur at primary airports such as Brussels, Lisbon, Rome, Athens, Copenhagen, Berlin, Cologne, Dublin and London (STN). Much of this growth is being stimulated by our Business Plus and Family Extra services."
Cineworld is contracted to open eight cinemas in the UK (64 screens, of which eight screens relate to two new Picturehouse cinemas) and eight in CEE & Israel (79 screens) during the remainder of 2015 it says.
"With our plans for continued expansion across the Group, the Board remains confident of delivering a performance for the year as a whole in line with current market expectations."
Lastly, AIM-listed Publishing Technology. Final results mean gross revenues are down 15% to £14.4m (2013: £16.9m) with a pre-tax loss £4.0m (2013: profit of £0.7m). A strategic review by its new management team resulted in substantial non-cash charges it said in a statement.
Its Vista business remains solid it claims with a 100% customer retention rate and a modest reduction in time-based revenue "as we expected to see, and continues to be integral to the Group's success".
"We have hired the skills we require," says chairman MC Rose, "and we have provided for all past and future losses on the onerous contracts inherited by the new management team. I am confident that, moving forward, we have built the right team to ensure the success of our strategy."
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