© Reuters

By Scott Kanowsky 

Investing.com — Ryanair Holdings PLC (IR:) says it expects to see strong passenger demand over its key Easter and summer travel seasons, as more tourists from Asia and North America return to Europe due to the reopening of China’s economy and recent strength in the .

In a statement unveiling its third-quarter , the budget carrier noted that bookings are “closer-in than in spring 2020,” referring to a time period it considers to be before the impact of COVID-19 restrictions.

Despite guiding for a “robust” surge in customers during the upcoming Easter festivities, Ryanair still expects to report a fourth-quarter loss because the holiday will not fall in March, the final trading month of its fiscal year.

However, annual profit after tax was forecast to come in at between €1.325 billion to €1.425 billion (€1 = $1.0885), reiterating an improved outlook unveiled earlier in January. Full-year 2023 passenger traffic is also seen at 168 million, which would be well above Bloomberg consensus forecasts of 156.7 million.

In the three months to December 31, Ryanair swung to a post-tax income of €211M from a loss of €96M in the previous year. The figure was above pre-COVID levels as well.

“Strong pent-up travel demand over the Oct[ober] mid-term and peak Christmas/New Year holiday season (with no adverse impact from Covid or the war in Ukraine) stimulated strong traffic and fares across all markets,” the firm said.

Total quarterly revenue rose by 57% to €2.31B, although this increase was partly offset by a 36% jump in operating costs stemming from elevated fuel and staffing expenses.

Analysts at Bernstein described Ryanair’s latest earnings as “resilient,” adding that the company’s outlook points to a strong summer travel period.

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