WestJet remained profitable through a traditionally difficult first quarter, but net earnings of $37.2 million were down 20% from $46.7 million in the year earlier period.
Still, WS achieved its 52nd consecutive quarter of profitability and flew an all-time quarterly record of 6.1 million guests. Based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 9.5%, down from to 10.1% in the first quarter of 2017.
"Even though winter 2018 brought many operational challenges, we successfully achieved record load factors and increased revenue by 6.9% on a capacity increase of 4.3%," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO.
The operating margin for the quarter was 4.7%, down from 7.1% in Q1 2017.
"I want to thank every individual WestJetter for rising to the challenge through a very difficult operating quarter. Nonetheless, the quarter saw net earnings and margin decline as we continue to invest in the strategy laid out at Investor Day, in a higher fuel environment. We remain laser-focused on strategic execution to ensure we drive shareholder returns."
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.