WestJet reports second quarter net loss of $20.8 million

WestJet_logo_rgbCALGARY, July 31, 2018 /CNW/ – WestJet (TSX: WJA) today announced its second quarter results for 2018, with a net loss of $20.8 million, or $0.18 per fully diluted share. This result compares with net earnings of $48.6 million, or $0.41 per fully diluted share reported in the second quarter of 2017. Based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 7.7 per cent, down from 9.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2017. Year-to-date, WestJet recorded net earnings of $16.4 million, or $0.14 per fully diluted share.

“The impact of the threat of industrial action, in combination with the dramatic increase in fuel price and competitive capacity provided particularly significant challenges in the second quarter.” Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “While we are disappointed with these results, all WestJetters can take great satisfaction from the successful delivery of key strategic initiatives like Swoop and WestJet Link.”

Operating highlights (stated in Canadian dollars)

Q2 2018 Q2 2017 Change
Net earnings (loss) (millions) ($20.8) $48.6 (142.7%)
Diluted earnings (loss) per share ($0.18) $0.41 (143.9%)
Total revenue (millions) $1,087.6 $1,058.3 2.8%
Operating margin (2.5%) 7.4% (9.9 pts.)
ASMs (available seat miles) (billions) 7.922 7.564 4.7%
RPMs (revenue passenger miles) (billions) 6.646 6.260 6.2%
Load factor 83.9% 82.8% 1.1 pts.
Segment guests 6,276,226 5,908,876 6.2%
Yield (revenue per revenue passenger mile) (cents) 16.36 16.91 (3.2%)
RASM (revenue per available seat mile) (cents) 13.73 13.99 (1.9%)
CASM (cost per available seat mile) (cents) 14.08 12.95 8.7%
Fuel costs per litre (cents) 81 62 30.6%
CASM, excluding fuel and employee profit share (cents)* 10.30 9.88 4.3%

*Refer to reconciliations in the accompanying tables for further information regarding calculations.

Dividend declaration
On July 30, 2018, WestJet’s Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.14 per common voting share and variable voting share for the third quarter of 2018, to be paid on September 28, 2018, to shareholders of record on September 12, 2018. All dividends paid by WestJet are, pursuant to subsection 89(14) of the Income Tax Act, designated as eligible dividends, unless indicated otherwise. An eligible dividend paid to a Canadian resident is entitled to the enhanced dividend tax credit.