- Irish airline Ryanair announced a better than expected Christmas trading period on Friday (10 January), with forward bookings for January to April 2020 running around 1% ahead of where they were in 2019.

The company raised its guidance for profit after tax from the previous range of between €800m and €900m, to €950m - €1,050m. The company said that on the basis of current trading, it expects to be within the “mid-point” of this revised estimate.

While trading at Ryanair’s core operations were better than expected during the period, the company admitted that its acquired subsidiary Laudamotion had continued to underperform, with average fares during the festive period lower than expected in spite of strong traffic growth and high load factors.

Ryanair said that intense competition with the subsidiaries of rival airline group Lufthansa had been to blame, suggesting that Lufthansa Group airlines were now selling fares at “below cost”.

As a result, Ryanair said that Laudamotion would likely see an increase in the net loss for the year, up €10m from €80m to €90m.

Ryanair’s third quarter results are scheduled for release on 3 February 2020.

At 9:57am: [LON:RYA] Ryanair Holdings PLC share price was +1.11p at 16.34p

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