Ryanair profit falls amid pressure to lower fares

LONDON (AP) " Ryanair, Europe's biggest budget airline, saw its profits drop 8 percent in the final three months of 2016 as it lowered fares and was hurt by the British pound's drop.

The Dublin-based company said Monday that its net income fell to 94.7 million euros ($102 million) from 102.7 million euros a year earlier. The average fare was down 17 percent to 33 euros while traffic rose 16 percent to 29 million passengers.

CEO Michael O'Leary said "our fares this winter have fallen sharply as Ryanair continues to grow traffic and load factors strongly in many European markets."

European airlines are adding capacity, intensifying competition. Ryanair expects uncertainty over Britain's decision to leave the European Union, instability in markets like Turkey and the pound's drop to keep depressing prices.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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