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WestJet reports 19th consecutive quarter of profitability

Feb. 17, 2010, Calgary - WestJet today announced its fourth quarter and full-year results for 2009. The airline reported fourth quarter net earnings of $20.2 million or 14 cents per diluted share and full-year net earnings of $98.2 million or 74 cents per diluted share.


February 17, 2010
By CNW Group

The airline's results were impacted by a non-recurring net future income tax reduction during 2009. Excluding this gain, WestJet reported adjusted fourth quarter net earnings of $15.1 million or 11 cents per diluted share and adjusted full-year net earnings of $93.1 million or 71 cents per diluted share.
 
"We are pleased to report that WestJet finished 2009 with its 19th consecutive quarter of profitability," commented WestJet President and CEO Sean Durfy. "Achieving four quarters of profitable results in a year that will be remembered as the world's worst recession since the great depression is truly a testament to the ability of our WestJetters and our solid business model. The additional challenges of H1N1 and enhanced security measures made this an extremely difficult business environment for the airline industry. However, our WestJetters once again demonstrated that our company can deliver industry-leading financial results despite the pressures."
 
The airline reported a fourth quarter operating margin of 6.3 per cent compared to 9.6 per cent in the same quarter of 2008. For the full year, WestJet achieved an operating margin of 9.2 per cent compared to a 2008 margin of 11.5 per cent.
 
"For the fourth quarter and the full year, we were once again one of the top performers in the North American airline industry," said Sean Durfy. "Throughout the year, we strengthened our balance sheet, tightened our cost controls and laid the foundation for continued growth. We also focused on key initiatives including the expansion of WestJet Vacations and the implementation of our new reservation system. Thank you to our exceptional WestJetters for their many accomplishments and ongoing commitment to our airline's success."