Wizz Air posts record net profit of €292m for last year

Low-cost airline welcomes annual results showing record passenger numbers carried

Wizz Air’s chief executive József Váradi (left), said the airline had delivered record passenger numbers and revenues.

Wizz Air’s chief executive József Váradi (left), said the airline had delivered record passenger numbers and revenues.

 

Net profit at low-cost airline Wizz Air grew 6 per cent to a record €292 million last year, the company’s annual results show.

Wizz Air is the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, operating a fleet of 113 Airbus A320 and Airbus A321 aircraft, and offers more than 650 routes from 25 bases, connecting 146 destinations across 44 countries.

In its results for the full year ended March 31st, 2019, it said total cash at the end of the financial year was €1.5 billion, of which €1.3 billion was free cash. Its total revenue increased by 20 per cent to €2.3 billion.

Available seat kilometres (ASK), which is the number of seats available multiplied by the number of miles or kilometres flown, grew 17 per cent year-on-year. Passenger numbers were up 15 per cent.

Ticket revenue at the airline was up 21 per cent to €1.4 billion, while ancillary revenue was up 18 per cent to €953 million representing 41 per cent of total revenue.

Total operating costs increased 23 per cent to €2 billion and total unit costs increased by 5 per cent to 3.35 cents per ASK. The increase was driven by fuel unit costs.

Wizz Air’s chief executive officer József Váradi, said the airline had delivered record passenger numbers and revenues, while also delivering higher load factors.

“The high economic growth rates across Central and Eastern Europe continue and the opportunities created by Wizz Air’s ultra-low fares saw our revenues increase by 20 per cent, load factors reaching 93 per cent and passenger numbers of almost 35 million up 17 per cent year-on-year,” he said.

“This was a very solid performance given the absence of Easter traffic which fell into the end of the last financial year, higher fuel prices and a challenging operating environment across the industry.

“In FY19 the company consolidated its leadership position in Central and Eastern Europe and expanded in strategic Western European markets such as Vienna and London.

“Wizz Air will supply more seats to the London-Luton market this summer than any other airline - a clear statement of our ambitions.

“We continued to drive efficiencies in our operations to deliver on our mission to become Europe’s undisputed airline cost leader, efficiencies include the inauguration of our state-of-the-art €30 million pilot and cabin crew training centre in Budapest.”

Commenting on the outlook for the Company, Mr Váradi said the airline remains “very optimistic” for the year ahead.

“Higher fuel prices are supporting a stronger fare environment and we expect these macro conditions to provide Wizz Air with market share opportunities as weaker carriers withdraw unprofitable capacity,” he continued.

“Our ability to drive cost advantage further and offer low fares across our ever expanding network will lead to an expected 17 per cent increase in passenger numbers to 40 million in full year 2020.

“Although still at an early stage of the financial year, the company’s net profit is expected to be in a range of between €320 million and €350 million in in full year 2020.

“As usual, this guidance is dependent on the revenue performance for the all-important summer period as well as the second half of in full year 2020, a period for which the company, like most airlines, currently has limited visibility.”