Record 3Q net earnings for WestJet

WestJet has announced its third quarter 2015 (3Q15) results, with record net earnings of C$101.8 million, compared with the adjusted net earnings of C$85.4 million in the third quarter of 2014, and increase of 19.2%

The result comes despite the significant weakening of the Canadian dollar year over year and the softening of the Western Canadian economy as a result of the collapse in energy prices. WestJet achieved an on-time performance rate of 86.0% in 3Q15, a year-over-year improvement of 4.1 percentage points. Based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a record return on invested capital (ROIC) of 16.1%, compared with the 16.0% reported in the previous quarter while the company’s total assets surpassed $5 billion for the first time in its history.

"We are very pleased with another quarter of record financial results, as we improved our return on invested capital and operating margin while leading North American airlines in on-time performance for a second straight quarter," remarked WestJet president and CEO Gregg Saretsky. "We are very excited about the next chapter of WestJet's evolution, as we recently began flying widebody aircraft in scheduled revenue service for the first time and announced non-stop service to London Gatwick from six Canadian cities beginning in the spring of 2016."

The record adjusted net earnings in 3Q15 were built on total revenue of C$1,045.1 million, which was 3.5% up on 3Q14’s total revenue of $1,009.7 million. The operating margin rose by 2.8 pp to 15.3% from 12.5% for the respective quarters.

Yield (revenue per revenue passenger mile in Canadian cents) dropped by 1.0% to 18.51 from 18.70, while RASM (revenue per available seat mile in Canadian cents) fell by 2.6% to 15.14 from 15.54.

However, CASM (cost per available seat mile in Canadian cents) dropped to 12.83 from 13.60, a 5.7% decrease, while CASM excluding fuel and employee profit share (also in Canadian cents) actually rose by 5.1% to 9.35 from 8.90 for the respective quarters.

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