Ryanair raises full-year profit forecast after strong Christmas season

DUBLIN, January 4 (Reuters)Ryanair RYA.I Wednesday sharply raised its after-tax profit forecast for the year to the end of March to between 1.325 billion euros and 1.425 billion euros, against a previous range of 1 billion to 1.2 billion, citing traffic and fares of holidays stronger than expected.

Europe’s largest airline by passenger numbers expects to post a higher-than-expected after-tax profit of nearly 200 million euros in the three months to December 31, after strong pent-up travel demand during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

He said he still expects the January-March period to be loss-making due to the fall of the Easter holiday in April and a recent slowdown in traffic and flight prices from the UK. United and between Irish and British provincial airports.

The Irish airline maintained its forecast that it expects to carry 168 million passengers in its financial year to the end of March, far ahead of its previous record of 149 million.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

((padraic.halpin@thomsonreuters.com; +353 1 500 1504; Reuters Messaging: padraic.halpin.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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