Ryanair has forecast its profits would rise with increased passenger numbers, despite growing fuel costs.
The business said prospects appeared more positive than a year ago, after posting a 19 per cent rise in annual profits.
The Dublin-based carrier exceeded forecasts and said bookings for the summer months had been strong.
Expectations for annual passenger numbers rose to 35 million, up 27 per cent on this year.
Fuel costs had gone up 52 per cent in the last 12 months, but deputy chief executive Michael Cawley insisted yesterday the carrier would double passenger numbers over the next seven years.
The company - which operates five flights daily from Birmingham to Dublin - posted profits of 268.9 million euros (£184 million) for the year to March 31, exceeding predictions made 12 months ago.
But Ryanair had a stark warning for the rest of the industry.
Howard Millar, also a deputy chief executive, insisted the rising cost of fuel would continue to have a damaging effect.
"Fuel has had an enormous impact on costs for this year but we are still guiding that profits will rise," Mr Millar said.
"The main risk and volatility is in the winter when the United States consumer starts feeling the cold and US industry is uninhibited by holidays. That's when you can expect peak demand for fuel."
Ryanair said it had bought 75 per cent of this winter's fuel at $47 dollars a barrel.
The airline, which celebrated its 20th birthday this year, said average yields -
income per passenger - improved by two per cent on initial expectations when compared to a 14 per cent fall in the previous year.
Operating costs rose 25 per cent as the result of the higher fuel prices, up to 265.3 m euros (£181.6 m) from 175 million euros (£119.8 m) a year earlier.
Passenger numbers stood at 27.6 m, raising annual revenues 24 per cent to 1.07 billion euros (£732.3 million).
The budget carrier said it was optimistic about the future and revealed announcements on new airports and routes would be made in the next few weeks.
Mr Cawley said Ryanair would continue to cut costs, open new routes and keep costs low: "Our credo is this is a competitive market, the lowest cost wins."
Chief Executive Mr O'Leary used the results announcement to attack airport operator BAA and in particular its plans to redevelop Stansted at a cost of "£4 billion".
He added: "If the BAA monopoly was broken up, and Stansted forced to compete with Gatwick and Heathrow, then low-cost efficient facilities would be developed with the co-operation of user airlines like Ryanair and easyJet.
"Instead we have the truly bizarre proposal that £4 billion be wasted by Stansted building facilities that its airlines unanimously oppose, with part of the cost to be subsidised by passengers at Gatwick and Heathrow," he said.