WestJet reports third quarter net earnings of $45.9 million

WESTJET- an Alberta Partnership-WestJet unveils global future- nCALGARYOct. 30, 2018 /CNW/ – WestJet (TSX: WJA) today announced its third quarter results for 2018, with net earnings of $45.9 million, or $0.40per fully diluted share. This result compares with net earnings of $135.9 million, or $1.15 per fully diluted share reported in the third quarter of 2017. Year-to-date, WestJet recorded net earnings of $62.3 million, or $0.54 per fully diluted share.

“We are pleased to return to profitability in the third quarter,” Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “We have achieved this result despite continued downward pressure from the dramatic increases in fuel price and competitive capacity, along with the lingering impact of the threat of industrial action. We now look forward to the delivery of our first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in late January, and starting direct services in Spring 2019 from Calgary to London (Gatwick), Paris, and Dublin. I would like to thank every WestJetter for their focus on delivering award-winning service to our guests.”

Operating highlights (stated in Canadian dollars)

Q3 2018

Q3 2017

Change

Net earnings (millions)

$45.9

$135.9

(66.3%)

Diluted earnings per share

$0.40

$1.15

(65.2%)

Total revenue (millions)

$1,260.9

$1,214.6

3.8%

Operating margin

6.2%

16.3%

(10.1 pts)

ASMs (available seat miles) (billions)

8.880

8.077

9.9%

RPMs (revenue passenger miles) (billions)

7.516

6.922

8.6%

Load factor

84.6%

85.7%

(1.1 pts)

Segment guests

6,940,569

6,530,873

6.3%

Yield (revenue per revenue passenger mile) (cents)

16.78

17.55

(4.4%)

RASM (revenue per available seat mile) (cents)

14.20

15.04

(5.6%)

CASM (cost per available seat mile) (cents)

13.32

12.58

5.9%

Fuel costs per litre (cents)

85

62

37.1%

CASM, excluding fuel and employee profit share (cents)*

9.36

9.29

0.8%

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

Dividend declaration
On October 29, 2018, WestJet’s Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.14 per common voting share and variable voting share for the fourth quarter of 2018, to be paid on December 28, 2018, to shareholders of record on December 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.

Caution regarding forward-looking information
Certain information set forth in this news release is forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. By its nature, forward-looking information is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond WestJet’s control. The forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on WestJet’s current forecasts and strategy, the expected demand environment, the utilization of our fleet, the forward-curve for jet fuel price, the expected exchange rate of the Canadian dollar to the U.S. dollar, agreements and bookings, but may vary due to factors including, but not limited to, changes in guest demand, changes in fuel prices, delays in aircraft delivery, general economic conditions, competitive environment, ability to effectively implement and maintain critical systems and other factors and risks described in WestJet’s public reports and filings which are available under WestJet’s profile at sedar.com. Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking information. WestJet does not undertake to update, correct or revise any forward-looking information as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law.

Non-GAAP measures
This news release contains disclosure respecting non-GAAP performance measures including, without limitation, CASM, excluding fuel and employee profit share and return on invested capital. These measures are included to enhance the overall understanding of WestJet’s current financial performance and to provide an alternative method for assessing WestJet’s operating results in a manner that is focused on the performance of WestJet’s ongoing operations, and to provide a more consistent basis for comparison between reporting periods. These measures are not calculated in accordance with, or an alternative to, GAAP and do not have standardized meanings. Therefore, they may not be comparable to similar measures provided by other entities. Readers are urged to review the section entitled “Reconciliation of non-GAAP and additional GAAP measures” in WestJet’s management’s discussion and analysis of financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018 which is available under WestJet’s profile on SEDAR at sedar.com, for a further discussion of such non-GAAP measures and a reconciliation of such measures to GAAP. The financial information accompanying this news release was prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards unless otherwise noted.

Management’s discussion and analysis of financial results and consolidated financial statements and notes for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018, are available through the Internet in the Investor Relations section of westjet.com or under WestJet’s SEDAR profile at sedar.com.