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Press release from PR Newswire

WestJet reports record second quarter net earnings

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

WestJet reports record second quarter net earnings

04:55 EDT Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Airline achieves 37th consecutive profitable quarter and earnings per share of $0.40, up 18 per cent WestJet Encore exercises options to purchase five additional Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft

CALGARY, July 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - July 29, 2014. WestJet (TSX: WJA) today announced its second quarter results for 2014, with net earnings of $51.8 million, or $0.40 per fully diluted share, as compared with the net earnings of $44.7 million, or $0.34 per fully diluted share reported in the second quarter of 2013. Based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 13.7 per cent, consistent with the 13.7 per cent reported in the previous quarter.

"We had a great second quarter, reporting record earnings, exceeding our ROIC target for the eighth consecutive quarter, and achieving an on-time performance rate of 84.5 per cent, a year over year improvement of 3.5 percentage points," said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. "We continue to execute on our growth plans, including new service to Dublin, Ireland, success with our fare bundles initiative, and the expansion of WestJet Encore. Encore celebrated its first birthday in June, recently welcomed its one-millionth guest, and exercised five additional purchase options for Q400 aircraft. I want to thank all of our 10,000 WestJetters for their commitment to providing our award winning brand of friendly caring service, which is the foundation of our success."

Operating highlights (stated in Canadian dollars)

  Q2 2014 Q2 2013 Change Year-to-date 2014  Year-to-date 2013 Change
Net earnings (millions) $51.8 $44.7 15.9% $141.1 $135.8 3.9%
Diluted earnings per share $0.40 $0.34 17.6% $1.09 $1.02 6.9%
Total revenue (millions) $930.3 $843.7 10.3% $1,972.4 $1,810.9 8.9%
Operating margin 8.4% 7.9% 0.5 pts 10.6% 11.0% (0.4 pts)
ASMs (available seat miles) (billions) 6.193 5.888 5.2% 12.707 11.920 6.6%
RPMs (revenue passenger miles) (billions) 4.930 4.675 5.5% 10.347 9.763 6.0%
Load factor 79.6% 79.4% 0.2 pts 81.4% 81.9% (0.5 pts)
Segment guests 4,772,324 4,493,271 6.2% 9,579,009 8,986,595 6.6%
Yield (revenue per revenue passenger mile) (cents) 18.87 18.05 4.5% 19.06 18.55 2.7%
RASM (revenue per available seat mile) (cents) 15.02 14.33 4.8% 15.52 15.19 2.2%
CASM (cost per available seat mile) (cents) 13.76 13.20 4.2% 13.87 13.52 2.6%
CASM, excluding fuel and employee profit share (cents)* 9.23 9.06 1.9% 9.26 9.00 2.9%

*Refer to reconciliations in the accompanying tables for further information regarding calculations.

On July 7th, WestJet announced that it was in the advanced stages of sourcing aircraft for its entry into wide-body service. A natural, next-step evolution for the airline, WestJet has recently selected four Boeing 767-300ERW series aircraft which will initially operate on routes between Alberta and Hawaii during the winter season beginning in late 2015. The airline's current winter service between Alberta and Hawaii, via two Boeing 757-200s operated by Thomas Cook, is ending in the spring of 2015. WestJet expects to expand its operation into overseas markets starting in the summer of 2016. Further announcements regarding WestJet's wide-body schedule will be released at a later date.

Dividend declaration On July 28, 2014, WestJet's Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.12 per common voting share and variable voting share for the third quarter of 2014, to be paid on September 30, 2014, to shareholders of record on September 17, 2014. All dividends paid by WestJet are, pursuant to subsection 89(14) of the Income Tax Act, designated as eligible dividends, unless indicated otherwise. An eligible dividend paid to a Canadian resident is entitled to the enhanced dividend tax credit.

Caution regarding forward-looking information Certain information set forth in this news release, including, without limitation, information regarding WestJet's plans to initially operate four Boeing 767-300ERW series aircraft on routes between Alberta and Hawaii during the winter season beginning in late 2015; WestJet's expectations that it will expand its wide-body operations into overseas markets starting in the summer of 2016; and the timing of further announcements regarding WestJet's wide-body schedule is forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities law. By its nature, forward-looking information is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond the Corporation's control, including those risk factors described in WestJet's public reports and filings which are available under WestJet's profile at www.sedar.com. Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking information. WestJet does not undertake to update, correct or revise any forward-looking information as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law.

Non-GAAP measures This news release contains disclosure respecting non-GAAP performance measures including, without limitation, CASM, excluding fuel and employee profit share and return on invested capital. These measures are included to enhance the overall understanding of WestJet's current financial performance and to provide an alternative method for assessing WestJet's operating results in a manner that is focused on the performance of WestJet's ongoing operations, and to provide a more consistent basis for comparison between reporting periods. These measures are not calculated in accordance with, or an alternative to, GAAP and do not have standardized meanings. Therefore, they may not be comparable to similar measures provided by other entities. Readers are urged to review the section entitled "Reconciliation of non-GAAP and additional GAAP measures" in WestJet's management's discussion and analysis of financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014, which is available under WestJet's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, for a further discussion of such non-GAAP measures and a reconciliation of such measures to GAAP. The financial information accompanying this news release was prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards unless otherwise noted.

Management's discussion and analysis of financial results and condensed consolidated financial statements and notes for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014, are available through the Internet in the Media and Investor Relations section of www.westjet.com or under WestJet's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.

Analyst conference call WestJet will hold its quarterly analysts' conference call today, July 29, 2014, at 8 a.m. MDT (10 a.m. EDT). President and CEO Gregg Saretsky and Executive Vice-President of Finance and CFO Vito Culmone will discuss WestJet's second quarter results and answer questions from financial analysts and members of the media. The conference call will be available in Toronto by calling 416-915-3239, in Vancouver by calling 604-638-5340 and across Canada and the United States through the toll-free telephone number 1-800-319-4610. The call can also be heard live through an Internet webcast accessible via the Media and Investor Relations section of www.westjet.com.

About WestJet We are proud to be Canada's most-preferred airline, powered by an award-winning culture of care and recognized as one of the country's top employers. We offer scheduled service to more than 85 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. Through our regional airline, WestJet Encore, and with partnerships with airlines representing every major region of the world, we offer our guests more than 120 destinations in more than 20 countries. Leveraging WestJet's extensive network, flight schedule and remarkable guest experience, WestJet Vacations delivers affordable, flexible travel experiences with a variety of accommodation options for every guest. Members of our WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Our members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of WestJet flights and vacation packages on any day, at any time, to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods ? even on seat sales. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com.

Recent recognition includes: 2014 Value Airline of the Year (Air Transport World magazine) 2014/2013/2012 Canada's Most Attractive Employer (Randstad) 2013 Highest equity score: airline, vacation package supplier brands (Harris/Decima EquiTrend Study) 2013 Gold Stevie Award Best Transportation Company (American Business Awards) 2013 Chairman's Circle Award: WestJet Vacations (CPSC) 2013 Canada's Most Preferred Airline (Leger Marketing) 2013 WestJet RBC MasterCard ranked #1 in Canada (Money Sense magazine)

Connect with WestJet on Facebook at facebook.com/westjet Follow WestJet on Twitter at twitter.com/westjet Subscribe to WestJet on YouTube at youtube.com/westjet Read the WestJet blog at blog.westjet.com

         
Condensed Consolidated Statement of Earnings (Stated in thousands of Canadian dollars, except per share amounts) (Unaudited)      
         
         
  Three months ended June 30 Six months ended June 30
  2014 2013 2014 2013
         
Revenue:        
  Guest 847,454 768,612 1,784,283 1,648,006
  Other 82,886 75,082 188,147 162,930
  930,340 843,694 1,972,430 1,810,936
Operating expenses:        
  Aircraft fuel 274,861 241,204 559,697 512,252
  Airport operations 121,436 111,273 248,797 226,548
  Flight operations and navigational charges 110,585 102,434 226,730 204,309
  Sales and distribution 86,524 82,730 187,834 174,040
  Depreciation and amortization 54,402 49,154 115,424 97,173
  Marketing, general and administratio 61,162 54,485 113,383 104,000
  Maintenance 50,755 40,253 103,550 79,950
  Aircraft leasing 44,714 43,884 93,822 91,393
  Inflight 42,108 48,974 86,810 95,293
  Employee profit share 5,351 2,834 26,349 27,145
  851,898 777,225 1,762,396 1,612,103
Earnings from operations 78,442 66,469 210,034 198,833
         
Non-operating income (expense):        
  Finance income 3,772 4,438 8,129 9,182
  Finance cost (11,390) (10,263) (23,058) (20,961)
  Gain (loss) on foreign exchange 517 1,672 (970) 1,751
  Loss on disposal of property and equipment (56) (762) (45) (1,780)
  (7,157) (4,915) (15,944) (11,808)
Earnings before income tax 71,285 61,554 194,090 187,025
         
Income tax expense (recovery):        
  Current 22,775 15,795 67,469 62,448
  Deferred (3,252) 1,024 (14,432) (11,231)
  19,523 16,819 53,037 51,217
Net earnings 51,762 44,735 141,053 135,808
         
Earnings per share:        
  Basic 0.41 0.34 1.10 1.03
  Diluted 0.40 0.34 1.09 1.02

Condensed Consolidated Statement of Financial Position (Stated in thousands of Canadian dollars) (Unaudited)

       
  June 30 2014   December 31 2013
Assets      
Current assets:      
  Cash and cash equivalents 1,076,671   1,256,005
  Restricted cash 34,704   58,106
  Accounts receivable 56,421   42,164
  Prepaid expenses, deposits and other 104,221   133,263
  Inventory 35,423   36,722
  1,307,440   1,526,260
Non-current assets:      
  Property and equipment 2,746,785   2,487,734
  Intangible assets 62,914   58,691
  Other assets 62,341   70,778
Total assets 4,179,480   4,143,463
       
Liabilities and shareholders' equity      
Current liabilities:      
  Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 407,753   543,167
  Advance ticket sales 572,436   551,022
  Non-refundable guest credits 44,582   46,975
  Current portion of maintenance provisions 95,623   76,105
  Current portion of long-term debt 185,285   189,191
  1,305,679   1,406,460
Non-current liabilities:      
  Maintenance provisions 133,500   142,411
  Long-term debt 778,560   689,204
  Other liabilities 10,181   8,834
  Deferred income tax 289,289   306,714
Total liabilities 2,517,209   2,553,623
       
Shareholders' equity:      
  Share capital 600,070   603,861
  Equity reserves 71,095   69,079
  Hedge reserves (7,690)   105
  Retained earnings 998,796   916,795
Total shareholders' equity 1,662,271   1,589,840
       
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity 4,179,480   4,143,463

           
Condensed Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows (Stated in thousands of Canadian dollars) (Unaudited)
           
  Three months ended June 30   Six months ended June 30
  2014 2013   2014 2013
           
Operating activities:          
Net earnings 51,762 44,735   141,053 135,808
Items not involving cash:          
  Depreciation and amortization 54,402 49,154   115,424 97,173
  Change in maintenance provisions 9,650 4,296   10,082 13,378
  Change in other liabilities (152) 2,388   (227) 2,181
  Amortization of hedge settlements 350 350   700 700
  Loss on disposal of property and equipment 56 762   45 1,780
  Share-based payment expense 5,904 3,479   9,762 7,054
  Deferred income tax recovery (3,252) 1,024   (14,432) (11,231)
  Unrealized foreign exchange gain (2,318) (3,160)   (5,126) (4,285)
Change in non-cash working capital 48,546 (4,659)   80,458 100,821
Change in restricted cash 11,843 13,104   23,402 14,603
Change in other assets (19,974) (808)   (11,423) (2,747)
Cash interest received 4,127 4,540   8,619 9,893
Cash taxes paid (40,412) (20,331)   (170,074) (97,514)
Purchase of shares pursuant to compensation plans (4,985) (5,101)   (10,417) (6,587)
  115,547 89,773   177,846 261,027
           
Investing activities:          
Aircraft additions (201,114) (156,864)   (338,019) (282,345)
Other property and equipment and intangible additions (19,822) (16,246)   (29,579) (39,236)
  (220,936) (173,110)   (367,598) (321,581)
           
Financing activities:          
Increase in long-term debt 148,756 33,074   181,186 33,074
Repayment of long-term debt (48,127) (41,325)   (95,801) (82,565)
Shares repurchased (4,851) (32,549)   (29,575) (36,613)
Dividends paid (15,312) (13,161)   (30,637) (26,392)
Issuance of shares pursuant to compensation plans - -   40 33
Cash interest paid (9,616) (8,845)   (19,802) (18,413)
Change in non-cash working capital (9) (102)   (427) (557)
  70,841 (62,908)   4,984 (131,433)
           
Cash flow from operating, investing and financing activities (34,548) (146,245)   (184,768) (191,987)
Effect of foreign exchange on cash and cash equivalents (1,265) 5,043   5,434 7,386
Net change in cash and cash equivalents (35,813) (141,202)   (179,334) (184,601)
           
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period 1,112,484 1,364,800   1,256,005 1,408,199
           
Cash and cash equivalents, end of period 1,076,671 1,223,598   1,076,671 1,223,598

CASM, excluding fuel and employee profit share (Stated in thousands of Canadian dollars, except percentage, mile and per unit data) (Unaudited)

WestJet excludes the effects of aircraft fuel expense and employee profit share expense to assess the operating performance of the business. Fuel expense is excluded from operating results due to the fact that fuel prices are impacted by a host of factors outside WestJet's control, such as significant weather events, geopolitical tensions, refinery capacity and global demand and supply. Excluding this expense allows WestJet to analyze its operating results on a comparable basis. Employee profit share expense is excluded from operating results due to its variable nature and excluding this expense allows greater comparability.

                         
                         
    Three months ended June 30   Six months ended June 30
($ in thousands)   2014   2013   Change   2014   2013   Change
Operating expenses   851,898   777,225   74,673   1,762,396   1,612,103   150,293
Aircraft fuel expense   (274,861)   (241,204)   (33,657)   (559,697)   (512,252)   (47,445)
Employee profit share expense   (5,351)   (2,834)   (2,517)   (26,349)   (27,145)   796
Operating expenses, adjusted   571,686   533,187   38,499   1,176,350   1,072,706   103,644
ASMs   6,192,880,483   5,888,165,679   5.2%   12,707,465,553   11,920,261,749   6.6%
CASM, excluding above items (cents)   9.23   9.06   1.9%   9.26   9.00   2.9%

Return on invested capital (Stated in thousands of Canadian dollars, except percentages) (Unaudited)

ROIC is a measure commonly used to assess the efficiency with which a company allocates its capital to generate returns. Return is calculated based on our earnings before tax, excluding special items, finance costs and implied interest on our off-balance-sheet aircraft leases. Invested capital includes average long-term debt, average finance lease obligations, average shareholders' equity and off-balance-sheet aircraft operating leases.

             
    June 30 2014   December 31 2013   Change
Earnings before income taxes   379,150   372,085   7,065
Add:            
  Finance costs   45,544   43,447   2,097
  Implicit interest in operating leases(i)   93,489   92,214   1,275
    518,183   507,746   10,437
Invested capital:            
  Average long-term debt(ii)   826,732   808,722   18,010
  Average shareholders' equity   1,607,883   1,531,072   76,811
  Off-balance-sheet aircraft leases(iii)   1,335,563   1,317,345   18,218
    3,770,178   3,657,139   113,039
Return on invested capital   13.7%   13.9%   (0.2 pts.)
(i)      Interest implicit in operating leases is equal to 7.0 per cent of 7.5 times the trailing 12 months of aircraft lease expense. 7.0 per cent is a proxy and does not necessarily represent actual for any given period.
(ii)      Average long-term debt includes the current portion and long-term portion.
(iii)      Off-balance-sheet aircraft leases are calculated by multiplying the trailing 12 months of aircraft leasing expense by 7.5. At June 30, 2014, the trailing 12 months of aircraft leasing costs totaled $178,075 (December 31, 2013 - $175,646).

 

SOURCE WestJet

For further information:

WestJet Media Relations
1-888-WJ-4-NEWS (1-888-954-6397)
Email: media@westjet.com 

WestJet Investor Relations
1-877-493-7853
Email: investor_relations@westjet.com

Website: westjet.com

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