WestJet Reports Record Second Quarter Net Earnings of $42.5 Million
By James Shillinglaw
August 01, 2012 11:23 PM
WestJet recorded second quarter net earnings record of $42.5 million, up from the net earnings of $25.6 million in the second quarter of 2011. These financial results mark WestJet's 29th consecutive quarter of profitability. Based on the trailing 12 months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 11.4 per cent, up from the 10.8 per cent reported last quarter. Total revenue for the second quarter was $809.3 million, up 9 percent from the $742.3 million recorded in the same quarter last year
"It was another record quarter as we set new second quarter highs for both net earnings and load factor," said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. "Momentum continues at WestJet and we are very pleased with the operating margin expansion achieved again this quarter as we progress towards our return on invested capital target."
WestJet also said it will be introducing a premium economy product on its entire Boeing 737 fleet featuring extra legroom, convenience and other amenities. Modifications to the aircraft will begin in August and the airline expects to have the fleet fully reconfigured by the end of 2012. "We believe that both business and leisure guests will appreciate the added value a premium economy product will offer and look forward to providing further details as we roll it out early next year," said Saretsky.
Also in the quarter, WestJet and Bombardier signed a definitive purchase agreement on July 31, 2012. The purchase agreement includes a firm order of 20 Q400 Neaten turboprop aircraft with purchase options for an additional 25 Q400 aircraft. Of the firm orders, seven turboprops are set to be delivered in 2013, followed by seven more of the confirmed orders in 2014, four in 2015 and two in 2016. The scheduled delivery slots for the 25 optional aircraft range between 2014 and 2018.
"The planned launch of our new low-cost regional airline remains on track for the second half of 2013,” said Saretsky. “We have now met with representatives from over 30 airports across Canada who are all hoping to have WestJet service and hiring has commenced on the first of up to 1,800 new jobs the regional airline will create.”