Shares of Ryanair Holdings plc. (RYA.L) were gaining around 9 percent in the early morning trading in London after the company raised its profit view for the year to March 2020 based on stronger than expected Christmas and New Year travel period and stronger forward bookings in the fourth quarter.
Ryanair now expects full-year profit after tax in a new range of 950 million pounds to 1.05 billion pounds, higher than previous estimate of 800 million pounds to 900 million pounds.
On the basis of current trading, Ryanair expects to finish close to the mid-point of this new range.
In a trading statement, the company said its positive Christmas and New Year travel period was characterized by higher than expected close-in bookings at better than expected yields.
Forward bookings for January to April are running 1% ahead of this time last year.
This is expected to result in slightly better than expected average fares in the fourth quarter, while full year Group traffic will grow to 154 million, up from previous view of 153 million.
Meanwhile, Ryanair's Austrian subsidiary, Laudamotion, continues to underperform with average. fares over Christmas lower than expected, despite strong traffic growth and high load factors.
The company said the weakness is a direct result of intense price competition with Lufthansa subsidiaries in both Germany and Austria who are engaged in below cost selling. Lauda now expects to carry 6.5 million passengers in the year to March 2020 but at average fares that are 15 euros below budget.
The company expects Lauda's net loss for the year will widen to approximately 90 million euros from under 80 million euros. Ryanair plans to release its third-quarter results on February 3.
In London, Ryanair shares are currently trading at 16.59 euros, up 8.93 percent.