WestJet reports 3Q11 net earnings of C$39m

WestJet has announced its third quarter (3Q11) results for the three months ending 30 September 2011, featuring net earnings of $39.3 million, 10.4% down on 3Q10 net earnings of $43.8 million.

"We had a solid third quarter in which we saw growth in both our yield and RASM, and we carried a record 4.2 million [passengers]," commented WestJet president and CEO Gregg Saretsky. "Despite significantly higher fuel costs, we delivered our 26th consecutive quarter of profitability thanks to the tremendous work by WestJetters and their passion for contributing to, and sharing in, our ongoing success."

Total revenues in 3Q11 reached C$775.3 million, an increase of 13.3% over 3Q10’s revenues of $684.1 million. The operating margin was down by 2.8 percentage points year-on-year at 8.5% from 11.3%.

The yield (revenue per RPM in Canadian cents) in 3Q11 was 17.97¢, an increase of 5.3% compared with 3Q10’s figure of 17.07¢. RASM (revenue per available seat mile in Canadian cents) was 14.39¢ for 3Q11, compared with 13.60¢ in the same quarter last year, a 5.8% increase.

CASM (cost per ASM in Canadian cents) was 13.16¢ in 3Q11, 9.1% up on 3Q10’s figure of 12.06¢. The 3Q11 CASM exc fuel and employee profit share (in Canadian cents) was 8.77¢, compared with 8.50¢ in 3Q10, a 3.2% increase.

For the fourth quarter of 2011, WestJet says it expects comparable RASM growth to that achieved in 3Q11. "The broader economy continues to experience a great deal of volatility and consumer confidence measures echo that uncertainty; however, we are not seeing this impact reflected in our forward bookings in any significant manner," noted Saretsky. "We are optimistic that demand for air travel will remain healthy and are confident that with our high-value travel proposition and low-cost business model we will continue to deliver profitable results moving forward."

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