Wizz Air half-year net profit up by more than 15%

Wizz Air Holdings has published its unaudited results for the first six months of its 2016 financial year (1H16), which closed on 30 September 2015, featuring a reported net profit (IFRS) of €182.1 million, up 15.2% from 2014’s figure of 158.1 million.

The total revenue in 1H16 increased by 15.0% to €836.4 million from €727.3 million in 1H15. Ticket revenues increased 11.6% to €544.6 million and ancillary income grew 21.9% to €291.8 million. The ancillary revenue per passenger in 1H16 increased 1.3% to €27.4.

Wizz Air’s management expects an underlying net profit for the year ending 31 March 2016 in the range of €190 million to €200 million, guidance that remains unchanged from its trading update on 29 September 2015. This implies an underlying loss of between €6 million and €16 million in the second half (2H16), broadly in line with the 2H15 loss of €7 million.

The carrier’s total unit costs fell by 5.1% to 3.46 eurocents per ASK in 1H16. The ex-fuel unit costs declined 1.0% to 2.19 eurocents, while fuel unit costs dropped by 11.3% to 1.27 eurocents.

During 1H16, the load factor increased by 1.6 percentage points to 90.7%, highlighted by the airline as one of the highest in the industry.

The number of passengers carried in 1H16 increased 20.4% over 1H15’s figure to 10.7 million. The route network saw the opening of two new bases and 38 new routes. Wizz Air now offers more than 390 routes to 39 countries from 22 bases.

Wizz Air’s total cash at 30 September 2015 was €710 million of which €617 million is classified as free cash. Shareholders’ equity reached €656 million, an increase of €328 million versus September 2014 and €196 million since March 2015.

Wizz Air chief executive József Váradi commented, “We are very pleased with summer trading and to report record profitability for the first half of FY16. We have continued to grow our network and increase our passenger numbers throughout the period while maintaining an industry leading, ultra-low cost base.

“We continue to deliver against our ambition to make safe, reliable, affordable air travel available to everyone in Central and Eastern Europe. We have a strong balance sheet, proven management team, best-in-class fleet and leading market position in Central and Eastern Europe. This winning formula leaves Wizz Air well placed to continue to deliver significant growth and returns for our shareholders.”

Váradi himself has just agreed in principle the terms of a new service contract to remain Group CEO for a term of five years, subject to a six month notice period on either side. in addition, the company is proposing that John Stephenson, the Group’s executive vice-president, will join the Board as a newly-created second executive director.

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