WIZZ AIR: RECORD F17 PROFITABILITY ON 19% PAX GROWTH, F18 PROFIT GUIDANCE OF BETWEEN €250M AND €270M Featured

WIZZ AIR HOLDINGS PLC RESULTS FOR THE TWELVE MONTHS TO 31 MARCH 2017

RECORD F17 PROFITABILITY ON 19% PAX GROWTH, F18 PROFIT GUIDANCE OF BETWEEN €250M AND €270M

LSE Ticker: WIZZ
Geneva, 25 May 2017:
Wizz Air Holdings Plc (“Wizz Air” or the “Company”), the largest low-cost airline in Central and

Eastern Europe1, today announces its audited results for the full year ended 31 March 2017 (“FY2017” or “FY17”) for the Company as a whole, and separately for its airline (“Airline”) and tour operator (“Wizz Tours”) business units2.

2017 Full year to 31 March (million)

Passengers carried 23.8 Revenue (€ million) 1,571 EBITDAR (€ million) 538 EBITDAR margin (%) 34.3 Profit for the year (IFRS)3 (million) 246 Profit margin for the year (IFRS) (%) 15.7 Underlying net profit after tax4 (€ million) 225 Underlying profit after tax margin (%) 14.3 Free cash (€ million) 774 Load factor (%) 90.1 Year-end fleet 79

RECORD PROFITABILITY DESPITE CHALLENGING CONDITIONS

2016
(million) Change

20.0 +19% 1,429 +10% 441 +22% 30.8 +3.5pp 193 +28% 13.5 +2.2pp 224 +1% 15.7 -1.3pp 646 +128 88.2 +1.9pp 67 +12

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Total revenue increase of 10% to €1,571 million
o Ticket revenue up 2% to €916 million
o Ancillary revenue up 23% to €655.7 million, ancillary revenue up €0.8 to €27.5 per passenger

  •   Profit for the year (IFRS) was a record €246.0 million, a year on year increase of 27.5%.

  •   Underlying net profit was higher at €225 million amidst industry wide yield pressures

  •   Total cash at the end of March 2017 was €929.9 million of which €774.0 million was free cash.

    AIRLINE AND WIZZ TOURS

    The segmented reporting illustrates the financial performance of the Airline and Wizz Tours business units separately:

Airline: FY17 performance:

o Total unit revenue declined 8.5% to 3.75 euro cents per available seat kilometre (ASK). o Total unit costs fell by 7.8% to 3.15 euro cents per ASK.
o Ex-fuel unit costs decreased by 0.6% to 2.25 euro cents per ASK.
o Fuel unit costs fell by 21.9% to 0.90 euro cents per ASK.

o Reported net profit margin increased 2.2ppt to 15.8%.

o Underlying net profit margin decreased by 1.3ppt to 14.5%.
Wizz Tours: FY17 package holiday revenues of €18.1 million, a fourfold increase year on year.

STRENGTHENING OUR MARKET LEADING POSITION

  •   Passengers carried up 18.9% to 23.8 million and load factor up 1.9 ppt to 90.1% securing Wizz Air’s position as CEE’s leading low cost carrier

  •   Wizz Discount Club membership increased 29% to over 1 million by year end

  •   113 new routes operated including routes to four new CEE destinations and 10 new destinations outside CEE

  •   Opened four new operating bases in Chisinau (Moldova), Kutaisi (Georgia), Iasi and Sibiu (Romania)

  •   Two more operating bases announced during FY2017 in London Luton (UK) and Varna (Bulgaria)

  •   Fleet expansion with 12 new Airbus A321ceo aircraft added during the year taking the fleet to 79 aircraft, a mix of

    63 A320ceos and 16 A321ceos, driving efficiency on lower unit costs

  •   Average aircraft age of 4.4 years, remains one of the youngest fleets of any major European airline

    1 Central and Eastern Europe, or CEE, is a region comprised of Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.
    2 Starting from this financial year the Company introduces separate reporting for its airline and tour operator business units. Where a measure is reported

    for a business unit then this is explicitly stated. All other measures and statements relate to the Group as a whole. See also Note 4 to the financial

    statements.
    3
    International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”)
    4 A reconciliation between underlying (non-GAAP) and IFRS profit for the year is set out in the Financial Review and also in Note 5 to the financial statements

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Wizz Air Holdings Plc Annual report and accounts 2017 1

BREXIT

Reiterating that despite the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (“Brexit”), there are no signs of demand weakness on routes to/from the UK. The negative translation effect on British pound revenues due to Brexit in FY2017 is estimated at €17 million, which was absorbed by the rest of Wizz Air’s large and diversified route network.

Commenting on the results, József Váradi, Wizz Air’s Chief Executive Officer said:

“I am pleased to report another year of profitable growth for Wizz Air, which saw passenger numbers in FY2017 increase 19% year-on-year to 23.8 million, against a trading environment of very low fares and increasing fuel prices, proving that our ultra-low cost business model is the right one for the CEE’s number one low cost carrier. We continue to drive our cost base lower to maintain one of the highest profit margins of any European carrier, something to which the exceptional operational and financial performance of our new A321ceo aircraft contributed. We continue to increase the number of brand-new A321ceo which we operate, with the type making up a quarter of our seat capacity at the end of March 2017 and delivering the anticipated double digit cost savings compared to A320ceo aircraft which gives us a clear cost advantage compared to most of our rivals.

The resilience of our ultra-low cost business model combined with our growing, diversified network and our ever stronger balance sheet places Wizz Air in a unique position to exploit the significant market opportunity that exists in the CEE market of over 300 million people. We will continue to expand our route network, drive efficiency in our operating model, grow our ancillary revenue streams and enhance our compelling customer proposition. This winning formula leaves Wizz Air well placed to continue to deliver significant returns for our shareholders.

Growth will continue as a top priority for us and we plan to increase capacity by around 23% and carry nearly 30 million passengers in FY2018. We had a strong start to FY2018 due to the timing of Easter which leaves us optimistic for the year ahead and Group net profit is currently expected to be in a range between €250 million and €270 million in FY2018. This guidance is heavily caveated by the revenue performance for the all-important summer period as well as the second half of FY2018, a period for which we currently have limited visibility.”

ABOUT WIZZ AIR

Wizz Air is the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, operates a fleet of 81 Airbus A320 and Airbus A321 aircraft, and offers more than 500 routes from 28 bases, connecting 141 destinations across 42 countries. At Wizz Air, a team of approximately 3,000 aviation professionals delivers superior service and very low ticket prices making Wizz Air the preferred choice of 23 million passengers in 2016. Wizz Air is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker WIZZ and is included in the FTSE 250 and FTSE All-Share Indices. Wizz Air is registered under the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), the global benchmark in airline safety recognition. The company was recently named 2016 Value Airline of the Year by the editors of Air Transport World, one of the leading airline trade magazines, as well as 2016 Low Cost Airline of the Year by the Center for Aviation (CAPA), a leading provider of independent aviation market intelligence.

For more information:

Investors: Iain Wetherall, Wizz Air Balint Veres, Wizz Air

Media: Tamara Vallois, Wizz Air:
Edward Bridges / Jonathan Neilan, FTI Consulting LLP:

+41 22 555 9873 +36 1 777 9349

+36 1 777 9324 +44 20 3727 1017

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CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S REVIEW

Financial performance

The 2017 financial year delivered profitable growth, with passenger numbers increasing by 18.9 per cent. year-on-year to 23.8 million. The trading environment experienced in FY 2017 of very low fares and increasing fuel prices unquestionably favoured our ultra-low-cost business model and we were able to increase our growth rate, strengthen our number one position in CEE and also maintain one of the highest profit margins of any European carrier. Our market leading position, with the combination of one of the highest growth rates and profit margins of all European airlines, makes Wizz Air one of the most exciting airline businesses in Europe.

Operating the most efficient aircraft with the latest technology has always been a key foundation stone of Wizz Air’s ultra-low cost base. Our fleet currently has an average age of just 4.4 years, one of the youngest in Europe. We continue to build on that foundation with a delivery stream of brand new A321ceo aircraft which deliver double digit cost savings compared to

Wizz Air Holdings Plc Annual report and accounts 2017 2

A320ceo aircraft. At the end of FY 2017 we operated 16 A321ceo aircraft, representing a quarter of the airline\'s seat capacity, which gives us a clear cost advantage compared to most of our rivals.

The resilience of our ultra-low cost business model, which we are convinced is the best model for stimulating air travel in CEE, combined with our growing diversified network and our ever stronger balance sheet places Wizz Air in a unique position to exploit the significant market opportunity that exists in a market of over 300 million people.

Our strong performance was driven by capacity expansion, higher load factors, higher passenger growth and continued improvements to our industry-leading ultra-low-cost base. In numbers, we delivered:

  •   ticketrevenuesthatincreasedby2.3percent.to€915.5million;

  •   ancillaryrevenuethatincreasedby22.7percent.to€655.7million;

  •   totalairlineunitcostthatdecreasedby7.8percent.to€3.15centsperAvailableSeatKilometre(ASK);

  •   a19.7percent.increaseinthecapacityofferedtothemarket(asmeasuredbyASKs),asweextendedanddeepened our network of routes to and from Central and Eastern Europe; and

  •   anincreaseinouraverageloadfactorby1.9percentagepointsto90.1percent.inthefinancialyear,despitesignificant capacity expansion.

    Strategic progress

    The Company is convinced that its strategy of building on its strong network, highly efficient model, compelling customer proposition, solid finances and sound risk management policies will enable it to deliver sustainable growth and returns for Shareholders.

    Wizz Air’s management team enforces rigorous cost control in all aspects of the Group’s business and has created a company-wide business culture that is keenly focused on driving costs lower. The Company believes that this cost advantage protects Wizz Air’s market position, enables it to offer some of the lowest ticket prices in its markets, stimulates demand in its markets and supports continued profitable growth.

    With its ultra-low-cost structure, innovative unbundled pricing strategy, leading market position among low-cost carriers in CEE and track record of expansion in CEE and beyond, the Company believes that it is well positioned to continue to grow profitably. Wizz Air’s infrastructure, including personnel, processes, systems and relationships with suppliers of outsourced services, is scalable and sufficiently flexible to support Wizz Air’s growth plans.

    The Company believes that Wizz Air is a “pioneering” airline in the markets in which it operates by seeking to bring the low- cost carrier concept and Western European aviation standards into currently under-served new Eastern markets and is at the forefront of airline innovation in these new markets. Wizz Air has a strong track record of working with regulators to develop appropriate regulatory structures in non-EU countries. Wizz Air has been able to leverage the know-how, market understanding and cultural awareness of its senior management team and employees to build strong relationships with airport operators, suppliers, governments and regulators in new markets and is able to present itself as a reliable partner that, to date, has never exited from a country where it has established an operating base.

    Strengthened leadership in CEE

    Wizz Air continues to be the clear market leader in Central and Eastern Europe, maintaining our market share of over 39 per cent. of low-cost airline traffic. The expansion of our network with 113 new routes launched in FY 2017 has allowed us to strengthen our position, reaching new customers throughout the region.

    Today we operate in 19 of the 21 CEE countries, serving the market by offering a network of 28 bases and 141 destinations in 42 countries. With a low propensity to travel and low-cost market penetration currently at 40.4 per cent. (source data: Innovata, April 2016 March 2017), there remains a significant opportunity for Wizz Air and we continue to believe that the ultra-low-cost business model is best placed to serve this market. Wherever we operate, Wizz Air brings safe, reliable operations, low fares, hassle-free services and a distinctive brand designed to appeal to the whole market. 

  • Source: Wizz Air

 

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