StockMarketWire.com - Budget-airline Ryanair upgraded its outlook on profit following stronger-than-expected sales over the Christmas period.

Following better Christmas and New Year travel period as well as stronger forward bookings in the fourth quarter, Ryanair raised its pre-tax full-year profit guidance to a range of €950m to €1,050m from a previous range of €800m to €900m.

The low-cost carrier said it expected to hit the midpoint of the new range, based on current trading.

Forward bookings from January to April were running 1% ahead of this time last year, likely leading to better than expected average fares in the fourth quarter, while full-year group traffic was expected to grow to 154m, up from previous guidance of 153m, Ryanair said.

But Its Austrian subsidiary, Laudamotion, continued to underperform with average fares over Christmas lower than expected, which would result in wider losses, the airline said.

It blamed the ongoing weakness on intense price competition with Lufthansa subsidiaries in both Germany and Austria, who were engaged in below cost selling.

'Lauda now expects to carry 6.5m passengers in the year to March 2020 but at ave. fares that are €15 below budget, with the result that Lauda's net loss for the year will widen from under €80m to approx. €90m,' Ryanair said. At 9:53am: [LON:RYA] Ryanair Holdings PLC share price was +1.05p at 16.28p



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