Low-fares airline Ryanair has raised its full-year profit after tax guidance to between €950m - €1bn, following a “stronger than expected Christmas and New Year travel period.”
It expects to finish close to the mid-point of this new range.
The aviation giant had previously said it expects to report profit after tax of €800m - €900m for the year.
Shares in the airlines were up over 9pc in early trading following the update.
Forward passenger bookings for the period January to April are running 1pc ahead of this time last year, and Ryanair believes this will result in “slightly better” than expected average fares in its fourth quarter, it said in a statement.
Meanwhile, full year group traffic will grow to 154million passengers. It had previously guided at 153 million.
However, Ryanair said its Austrian subsidiary, Laudamotion, continues to underperform with average fares over Christmas lower than expected, despite strong traffic growth and high load factors.
This is a direct result of intense price competition with Lufthansa subsidiaries in both Germany and Austria who, Ryanair said, “are engaged in below cost selling”.
Lauda now expects to carry 6.5million passengers in the year to March 2020 but at average fares that are €15 below budget, with the result that Lauda's net loss for the year will widen from under €80m to approximately €90m.