WestJet beats expectations on profit

WestJet Airlines has reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as it flew more passengers and expenses fell.

The company’s fuel expenses, typically an airline’s largest variable cost, declined 0.3 per cent in the quarter ended September 30. WestJet flew 5.9 million passengers, an increase of 7 per cent on a year ago.

The company said on Tuesday it expects cost per available seat mile (CASM), excluding fuel and employee profit share, to fall by 1 to 2 per cent in the current quarter.

WestJet’s adjusted CASM, a measure of how much an airline spends to fly a passenger, rose 0.3 per cent in the third quarter.

The company said its revenue per available seat mile fell to 2.7 per cent. The measurement, an indicator of an airline’s efficiency, is calculated by dividing its operating income by available seat miles.

The airline’s load factor, which measures how effectively it filled seats, rose to 84 per cent from 81.8 per cent, a year earlier.

WestJet’s net earnings rose to C$116 million (Dh318.3m), or 97 Canadian cents per share, in the third quarter ended September 30, from C$101.8m, or 82 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 94 Canadian cents per share, according to Reuters.

The Calgary-based airline’s revenue rose 7.6 per cent to C$1.12 billion, slightly missing estimates of C$1.13bn.


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