WestJet has announced its 2nd quarter results for 2016, with net earnings of $36.7 million, as compared with the net earnings of $61.6 million reported in the 2nd quarter of 2015. But, the results were better than expected and represent WS’s 45th consecutive quarter of profitability. The carrier also flew a record 5.3 million pax over its expanding network with a load factor of 80.8%, up from 78.1% in Q2 2015.
Although the cost of fuel dropped 15%, the carrier’s 40.5% drop in quarterly profit is mainly the result of higher costs and tighter margins. WestJet has been particularly challenged on its new LGW routes due to operational issues and tough competition on those routes. The airline has also been shifting routes to eastern Canada in response to the economic slump in its Alberta home base.
"Despite the continuing economic weakness in Alberta, I am very pleased with the positive momentum we are seeing in our business including strengthening topline revenue growth. Our fundamentals remain strong, as highlighted by our recent USD 400 million investment grade unsecured notes offering, and we are confident that the strategic initiatives we are pursuing position us for continued profitable growth," said WestJet President & CEO Gregg Saretsky. "My thanks go out to our almost 12,000 WestJetters for their continued energy and efforts in delivering our brand of friendly caring service to our guests."
WestJet's Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.14 per common voting share and variable voting share for the 3rd quarter of 2016, to be paid 30SEP16 to all shareholders of record on 14SEP16.