Aer Lingus has reported a pre-tax loss of €24.5m for the six months to the end of June. 

The airline noted that it is typically loss making in the first half of the year.

Revenues for the six month period rose by 10% to €626.3m from €569.1m, while operating losses fell to €4.4m from €26.8m.

Factored into the figures are a number of exceptional items including €4.3m in costs incurred as a result of the takeover offer by Ryanair. This includes fees paid to advisors.

The airline said it carried 4.5 million passengers in the six month period, an increase of 3.4% on the same time last year. Average yields per passenger rose by 6.3%.

The airline's operating costs in the first half of the year increased by 5.8% mainly due to a 29.6% increase in fuel costs and an 8.1% increase in airport charges.

''Aer Lingus has produced a good trading performance in the seasonally weak first half of 2012,'' commented its chief executive Christoph Mueller.

''The group's operating profit loss of €4.4m represents a significant improvement over the prior year. These results clearly demonstrate that our strategy of building a leaner and more efficient Aer Lingus is working,'' he added.

He said that if current trends continue, Aer Lingus' operating profit, before net exceptional items, for 2012 will be at least that achieved in 2011. Last year's figure came in at €49.1m.

On the Ryanair takeover bid, Aer Lingus said that it has unanimously recommended its shareholders to reject the offer by taking no action. It has written to shareholders to set out in detail its reasons for rejecting the Ryanair offer.

In its results statement, Aer Lingus said that it is seeking to expand its activities at London Heathrow, where the group is bidding to operate a UK domestic route. It said the London market is important to it both for local traffic and to facilitate connectivity between Ireland and the rest of the world.