WestJet 3Q net earnings up 72%

WestJet has reported third quarter 2010 net earnings of $54 million, its 22nd consecutive quarter of profitability and a 72% increase in net earnings, year-over-year.

WestJet reported an operating margin of 13.2%, compared with 12.8% in 3Q09. WestJet’s 3Q10 pre-tax margin was 11.1%, compared with 8.3% in the same period in 2009.

Total revenues in 3Q10 were $684.6 million, up 14% on 3Q09’s $600.6 million, with the yield (revenue per RPM) rising by 2.1% to 17.09 cents from 16.74 cents in 3Q09. RASM (revenue per available seat mile) went up to 13.61 cents in 3Q10 from 3Q09’s figure of 13.34, a 2.0% increase.

Cost per available seat mile (CASM) went up by 1.5% year-on-year to 11.81 cents in 3Q10 from 11.63 cents in 3Q09. Excluding fuel and employee profit share, the CASM was 8.25 cents in 3Q10 compared with 8.16 cents in the same period last year, a 1.1% increase.

WestJet says it is to maintain its focus on reducing costs and making its operations more efficient, while providing increased self-service options. The airline has now introduced self-serve baggage tagging at both Vancouver and Calgary airports, with plans to fully implement this capability at both Toronto Pearson and Edmonton by the end of 2010.

The airline plans fourth quarter capacity to increase by 13%-14% year over year which it expects to absorb while improving year-over-year RASM.

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