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Ryanair hikes profit forecast on surge in winter bookings

Ryanair hiked its annual profit forecast almost 20% on Monday on a surge in winter bookings and said it would slash fares by up to 10% in the new year to steal more market share from struggling higher-cost rivals. The improved guidance comes after Europe's largest low-cost carrier introduced a series of customer service improvements and offered a new business fare with free checked-in baggage and the ability to make flight changes. It now predicts profit after tax for the year to March at between €750m and €770m, up from a previous forecast of €620m to €650m and well ahead of an average forecast of €694m in a company poll of analysts. "We've had a bumper half year and we've had to boost our guidance as we got visibility on the second half of the year," Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said in an interview. "We are keeping prices low while improving the service. Its as simple as that." Higher-cost rivals Lufthansa and Air France have both lowered their profit forecasts in recent days on higher competition and the cost of industrial action. The sale of 2 million more tickets than planned over the winter will consolidate the Irish airline's position as Europe's largest airline by passenger numbers - boosting annual numbers to an estimated 89 million, up 8.5% over the previous year. "The market was looking for a revision, but this is pushing it to the upper end of expectations," said Mark Simpson, an analyst with Irish brokerage Goodbody. "They are using the strength of the first half to really grab market share in the second half." Ryanair plans to boost its market share by cutting fares by up to 5% in the three months to December and by up to 10% in the first three months of next year. Profit after tax for the six months to September, the first half of Ryanair's financial year, was 795 million euros, just below an average forecast of 799 million euros in a company poll. Traffic grew 4% in the first half and average fares were up 5%. The airline said it had attempted to lock in recent falls in the price of oil, hedging 90% of its fuel needs for the year to March 2016 at around $93 per barrel and would try to extend that further in the coming months. Before Monday's results, Ryanair's share price was up almost 25% in the past year compared to an increase of just 3.4% in the Thomson Reuters Europe Airlines Index. 


Lithos Bar & Grill Events in November & December!!

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Oroklini, Larnaka

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The Lithos Beer Festival 2014 featuring LIVE music

Eat your heart out Munich, because the Lithos Beer Festival is back featuring draught Beers from all over the world!

Lithos Bar & Grill, Oroklini, Cyprus

10-12 October 2014

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Coffee culture of Cyprus and the brand wars to win business

This drug can turn a profit in a recession, chill the otherwise stressed island people and it's responsible for many hours of idle talk. Yes COFFEE is the drug that I am speaking of!

During the boom years of Cyprus all the major brand names and/or franchises such as Costa Coffee (UK), Starbucks (US), Flo Cafe (Greece), Gloria Jeans (Australia), Coffee Beanery (US), Segafredo (Italy), Illy (Italy), Caffe Nero (UK) and their many copies, actually convinced the population at large in Cyprus that a simple Coffee (however dressed) could or should cost as much as 5 euro. What's more astonishing, is that they got away with it for such a long time and Cypriots/Expats alike were literally  hooked on a Coffee Budget of up to 10 euro per day!

They applied every trick in the book by confusing us with sizes, when small became > large, medium became > extra large (the unusual norm) and large turned into a well, soup bowl! Intense marketing, comfy sofas, wooden decking on the balcony, fancy umbrellas and fake claims of sustainability, all duped us into buying more Coffee than we really needed.

Then came the recession, which started to hit the peoples pocket in 2012 and then it exploded in 2013. Suddenly, even that overly sugary Frappuccino or luxury Frape was at risk of being cut from the dwindling expenses of the average Cypriot household.

The major franchises stuck with their unsustainable prices for as long as they could, to squeeze tevery last drop of money. Occasional special offers and discounts appeared on the market and the people kept drink Coffee to moan about the financial crisis.

Then enter the new wave of Coffee Houses, that understand all the people really wanted was a combination of a decent place to sit outside (perhaps to combine with smoking), quality coffee and a reasonable price, which is easy enough to deliver, as the mark ups are so huge!

All of a sudden here in Larnaca we saw even more trendy Cafe bars opening everywhere, from Ermou Square to Makarios Avenue and of course Finikoudes. Coffee Island (Greece) has already relatively recently opened 7 outlets in Larnaca alone (same as Limassol). In Nocosia they operate 15 outlets and it's easier to partner with them. 

Coffee Island and to a lesser extent Lavazza have understood the pulse of the people by meeting the above mentioned criteria for a decent Coffee in a recession. Many other small individual Coffee businesses have also opened too and the market is going crazy at present (all be at lower prices) even in a recession, such is the love of the Coffee culture among all Cypriots. 

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