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Quarterly profits take flight at WestJet despite soaring fuel costs

NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Quarterly profits take flight at WestJet despite soaring fuel costs

westjetDespite sharply higher fuel costs, WestJet's profits soared almost 76 per cent on stronger revenues in its first quarter, the airline reported Tuesday.


April 29, 2008
By The Canadian Press

westjetApril 29, 2008, Calgary – Despite sharply higher fuel costs, WestJet's
profits soared almost 76 per cent on stronger revenues in its first
quarter, the airline reported Tuesday.

Net earnings amounted to $52.5 million, up from $29.9 million in
2006 on revenue of $599.3 million. Sales last year were $470.7 million.

Diluted earnings per share for the quarter were 40 cents compared
to 23 cents in the same period last year, an increase of 73.9 per
cent. Operating margin for the quarter was 13.8 per cent. The carrier's load factor increased slightly as well to 81.9 per cent.

WestJet CEO Sean Durfy praised his staff for the "strong start''
to the year.

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"Our capacity deployment strategy, which sees a portion of our
fleet repositioned to sun destinations, benefited from our expansion
into six new international destinations,'' Durfy said.

"Our performance was further improved by the first quarter
strength of both the Canadian economy and exchange rate.''

Fuel prices rose 30 per cent to 83 cents per litre year over year
and continue to be among the industry's "greatest concerns,'' he
said.