Wizz Air has issued an upbeat trading update for the fourth quarter and year ending March 31.

The central and eastern Europe budget carrier said the strong financial performance delivered in the first nine months of this financial year has continued into the fourth quarter.

In a pre-close trading statement the airline added: “A combination of robust ticket sales, lower fuel costs, strong load factors, and our continued disciplined approach to cost management has once again led to a stronger than expected financial performance.

“Consequently, it is expected that the company will be able to report underlying net profit for the twelve months ending 31 March 2016 at the top end of guidance provided at the time of our third quarter interim management statement in January 2016 of between €200 million – €210 million.”

Wizz Air is expected to report its preliminary results for the year on May 25.  

József Váradi, the airline’s chief executive, said: “As Wizz Air approaches the 20 million passengers per year mark the Company is again expected to report a strong financial performance for the full year.

“We have seen strength in all our markets and are expecting to achieve underlying net profit for the full year 2016 at the top end of our guidance range of between €200 million to €210 million.

“This performance, while also delivering a forecast 21% growth in passenger numbers this financial year, re-affirms the opportunity we see in central and eastern Europe.”