Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair has lifted its full-year net profit guidance to a range of €1.325 billion to €1.425 billion ($1.4 billion to $1.5 billion) before exceptionals after reporting a strong than expected holiday period.

It marks an upgrade on its previous guidance for a net profit of between €1 billion to €1.2 billion before exceptionals, issued in November when it published its half-year results. Ryanair’s financial year runs to the end of March 2023.

Ryanair 737 Max

Source: Stefana Garau/Shutterstock

”Strong pent-up travel demand over the holiday season for the first time in three years, with no adverse impact from Covid or the war in Ukraine, stimulated stronger than expected peak Christmas/New Year traffic and fares,” the airline says. As a result Ryanair expects to report a profit after tax of “close to €200 million” for the three months ending 31 December 2022.

The airline still expects its fourth quarter to be loss-making, in part because the busy Easter travel period falls in April this year.

”This guidance remains heavily dependent upon avoiding adverse events in Q4 (such as Covid or the war in Ukraine),” the airline adds.

Ryanair earlier today disclosed it carried 11.5 million passengers in December, taking passenger numbers for the calendar year to just over 160 million – 5% above the same period in 2019. 

Despite upgrading its profit hopes for the financial, it has left at 168 million its projection of passenger numbers for the year ending 31 March 2023. The higher figure for the financial year reflects the exclusion of the January-March 2022 period, when passenger capacity was cut because of the Omicron crisis.