WestJet has announced its 48thconsecutive profitable quarter, with Q1 2017 net earnings of $48.3 million, down from $87.6 million in the first quarter of 2016.
The airline says these results include a pre-tax non-cash adjustment to its maintenance provision of $18.5 million and irregular operations related costs of $7.0 million due to severe winter weather experienced in the quarter. Based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 10.0%, compared with the 11.3% t reported in the previous quarter.
"We are pleased to report strong topline revenue growth and our first positive unit revenue (RASM) performance in eight quarters,” said CEO Gregg Saretsky.
“We are seeing good results from Plus, our premium economy product, growth in our WestJet Rewards program and penetration into the business traveller segment, all of which gives us confidence that RASM will continue to improve for the remainder of the year," Saretsky added.
Total revenues for the quarter were up 8.0% to $1.114 billion, but operating margin declined by 4.7 points, from 12.0% to 7.3%. Load factor for the quarter was 83.0%, up from 82.1% in the year-before quarter.
Look for more coverage on Open Jaw tomorrow, following today’s WestJet Q1 earnings call with financial analysts.