WestJet Reports Record Full-Year Results

Published on : Wednesday, February 3, 2016

westjetWestJet (TSX: WJA) today announced its fourth quarter and year-end results for 2015, with record full-year net earnings of $367.5 million, or $2.92 per diluted share. This compares with the adjusted net earnings1 of $317.2 million, or $2.46 per diluted share reported in the full-year 2014, up 16 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively. For the fourth quarter, the airline reported diluted earnings per share of $0.51, down 27 per cent from $0.70 reported last year. These fourth quarter 2015 results include a pre-tax loss on foreign exchange of $10.1 million.

 

This represents WestJet’s 43rd consecutive quarter of profitability and based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 15.3 per cent, compared with the 16.1 per cent reported in the previous quarter, and within WestJet’s target range of 13 to 16 per cent.

 

“Today we reported the third best fourth quarter in WestJet’s history to complete a record year in 2015. Notwithstanding the impact that recent economic weakness in Alberta has had on our results, our decision to increase our normal course issuer bid demonstrates our confidence in WestJet’s proven business model and the financial strength of our airline,” said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. “My thanks go out to our more than 11,000 WestJetters for all their hard work in driving our continuing success as we look forward to celebrating WestJet’s 20th birthday in 2016, a year which will see the launch of our exciting new wide-body service to London Gatwick.”

 

 

Operating highlights (stated in Canadian dollars)

Q4 2015

Q4 2014

Change

Full-year
2015

Full-year
2014

Change

Net earnings (millions)

$63.4

$90.7

(30.1%)

$367.5

$284.0

29.4%

Adjusted net earnings (millions)1

$63.4

$90.7

(30.1%)

$367.5

$317.2

15.9%

Diluted earnings per share

$0.51

$0.70

(27.1%)

$2.92

$2.20

32.7%

Adjusted diluted earnings per share1

$0.51

$0.70

(27.1%)

$2.92

$2.46

18.7%

Total revenues (millions)

$958.7

$994.4

(3.6%)

$4,029.3

$3,976.6

1.3%

Operating margin

11.8%

14.0%

(2.2 pts)

14.1%

12.0%

2.1 pts

ASMs (available seat miles) (billions)

6.525

6.378

2.3%

26.902

25.584

5.2%

RPMs (revenue passenger miles) (billions)

5.114

5.081

0.6%

21.526

20.829

3.3%

Load factor

78.4%

79.7%

(1.3 pts)

80.0%

81.4%

(1.4 pts)

Segment guests

4,893,020

4,826,149

1.4%

20,281,376

19,651,977

3.2%

Yield (revenue per revenue passenger mile)
(cents)

18.75

19.57

(4.2%)

18.72

19.09

(1.9%)

RASM (revenue per available seat mile)
(cents)

14.69

15.59

(5.8%)

14.98

15.54

(3.6%)

CASM (cost per available seat mile)
(cents)

12.97

13.40

(3.2%)

12.86

13.68

(6.0%)

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

10.04

9.21

9.0%

9.46

9.15

3.4%

(1)

Full-year 2014 adjusted net earnings exclude an after-tax non-cash loss of $33.2 million recorded in the third quarter of 2014 associated with the previously disclosed sale of 10 of WestJet’s oldest Boeing 737 aircraft. Refer to reconciliations in the accompanying tables for further information regarding calculations.

Normal course issuer bid
Today, WestJet also announced that the Toronto Stock Exchange has approved WestJet’s amendment to its existing normal course issuer bid to increase the maximum number of shares the Company is authorized to purchase from 4 million shares to 6 million shares during the period of May 13, 2015 to May 12, 2016.

 

Dividend declaration
On February 1, 2016, 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 2016, to be paid on March 31, 2016, to shareholders of record on March 16, 2016. 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 Canadian securities law. By its nature, forward-looking information is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond the Corporation’s control, including those risk factors described in WestJet’s public reports and filings which are available under WestJet’s profile at www.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.

 

(1)Non-GAAP measures
This news release contains disclosure of non-GAAP performance measures including, without limitation, adjusted net earnings, adjusted diluted earnings per share, 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, 2015, 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.

 

 

Source:- WestJet Airways

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