Westjet’s Full Year Profit Falls 20 Percent

February 7, 2017

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Canada's WestJet Airlines reported fourth quarter and full-year results showing a net profit fall of almost 20 percent for the year.

For the fourth quarter, profit fell 13 percent to CAD$55.2 million (USD$41.9 million) on revenue up 6.2 percent at CAD$1.02 billion. Operating expenses for the quarter were CAD$932.5 million, up 10.2 percent on the previous year period.

Revenue in revenue passenger miles (RPM) terms increased 13.7 percent on available seat mile capacity growth of 11.2 percent. Load factor in the quarter to end December 2016 was up 1.8 percentage points at 80.2 percent.

For the full year, net earnings came in at CAD$295.5 million, down from 2015’s CAD$367.5 million. Revenue of CAD$4.12 billion was up 2.3 percent, while expenses rose 6.5 percent to CAD$3.68 billion.

WestJet flew 21.95 million passengers on their services, an 8.2 percent increase on 2015, with a load factor of 81.8 percent, a 1.8 percentage point rise.

During 2016, WestJet took delivery of ten Bombardier Q400s, four Boeing 737-800s and two Boeing 767s.

Looking forward, the airline expects overall capacity in the first quarter to grow by between 6 and 6.5 percent, and domestic capacity by between 8 and 8.5 percent. For the full year 2017, system-wide capacity growth of between 3.5 and 5.5 percent is expected.

Fuel costs are expected to increase by up to 40 percent in the first quarter as global oil prices rise.