WestJet reports fourth quarter and full-year results

Published on : Tuesday, February 7, 2017

westjetWestJet today announced its fourth quarter and year-end results for 2016, with full-year net earnings of $295.5 million, or $2.45 per diluted share. This compares with the record net earnings of $367.5 million, or $2.92 per diluted share reported in the full-year 2015. The airline achieved its 47th consecutive quarter of profitability, reporting fourth quarter net earnings of $55.2 million, or $0.47 per diluted share compared to $63.4 million, or $0.51 per diluted share reported in the fourth quarter of 2015. For the full-year and in each quarter of 2016 the airline flew a record number of guests. Based on the trailing twelve months, the airline recorded a return on invested capital of 11.3 per cent, down 0.3 percentage points from the 11.6 per cent reported in the previous quarter.


“In 2016 we continued to execute on our profitable growth strategies, which included the further expansion of WestJet Encore and the successful launch of wide-body transatlantic service. Our resilient business model delivered topline revenue growth, double-digit traffic growth, flew a record number of guests and achieved our second highest annual load factor in our history, despite facing economic weakness in Alberta,” said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. “I want to thank our more than 12,000 WestJetters for their continued passion and commitment to safely providing our record number of guests with WestJet’s award-winning brand of friendly caring service.”


Operating highlights (stated in Canadian dollars)


Q4 2016 Q4 2015 Change Full-year 2016 Full-year 2015 Change
Net earnings (millions) $55.2 $63.4 (13.0%) $295.5 $367.5 (19.6%)
Diluted earnings per share $0.47 $0.51 (7.8%) $2.45 $2.92 (16.1%)
Total revenue (millions) $1,017.8 $958.7 6.2% $4,122.9 $4,029.3 2.3%
Operating margin 8.4% 11.8% (3.4 pts) 10.7% 14.1% (3.4 pts)
ASMs (available seat miles) (billions) 7.253 6.525 11.2% 29.298 26.902 8.9%
RPMs (revenue passenger miles) (billions) 5.816 5.114 13.7% 23.968 21.526 11.3%
Load factor 80.2% 78.4% 1.8 pts 81.8% 80.0% 1.8 pts
Segment guests 5,424,052 4,893,020 10.9% 21,951,463 20,281,376 8.2%
Yield (revenue per revenue passenger mile) (cents) 17.50 18.75 (6.7%) 17.20 18.72 (8.1%)
RASM (revenue per available seat mile) (cents) 14.03 14.69 (4.5%) 14.07 14.98 (6.1%)
CASM (cost per available seat mile) (cents) 12.86 12.97 (0.8%) 12.57 12.86 (2.3%)
CASM, excluding fuel and employee profit share (cents)* 9.87 10.04 (1.7%) 9.75 9.46 3.1%
 *Refer to reconciliations in the accompanying tables for further information regarding calculations.


Dividend declaration
On February 6, 2017, WestJet’s Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.14 per common voting share and variable voting share for the first quarter of 2017, to be paid on March 31, 2017, to shareholders of record on March 15, 2017. 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.


Board of Directors
WestJet appoints Brad Armitage as the new employee representative on the Board of Directors filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Antonio Faiola, effective February 6, 2017. Mr. Armitage succeeded Mr. Faiola as the Chair of the WestJet Employee Association in early 2017. Mr. Armitage first joined WestJet in 2011 and in 2012, he joined the employee association as a representative inHalifax, Nova Scotia. “For the last 17 years, we have invited WestJet’s employee association to put forward a nominee to join our Board and we are pleased to welcome Brad to the seat,” commented WestJet’s Chair of the Board, Clive Beddoe. “On behalf of the Board, I would also like to thank Antonio for his dedication and contributions over the past five years.”


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. 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 year ended December 31, 2016, which is available under WestJet’s profile on SEDAR, 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.



Source:- WestJet Airways

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