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Ryanair shares surge as Christmas bookings lift profit guidance

Shares of Ryanair Holdings PLC rose Jan. 9 as the airline operator raised its profit guidance on the back of better-than-expected bookings in the recent holiday season.

Ryanair now expects profit after tax in the range of €950 million to €1.05 billion for the year ending in March, up from a range of €800 million to €900 million previously estimated.

The new guidance reflects strong close-in bookings at higher-than-expected yields during the Christmas and New Year travel period, as well as forward bookings for the January-April period, which are up 1% from a year ago.

Ryanair, however, noted that its Austrian subsidiary Laudamotion GmbH's loss will expand from below €80 million to about €90 million for the year as it continues to face competition from Lufthansa subsidiaries.

Shares of Ryanair ended the trading day in Dublin up 5.6%. British Airways PLC parent International Consolidated Airlines Group SA also tracked gains, closing 5.6% higher in London.