Wizz Air continued recovery into peak winter season

posted on 26th January 2022 by Eddie Saunders
Wizz Air continued recovery into peak winter season

Wizz Air Holdings Plc, today issues unaudited results for the three months to 31 December 2021 (“third quarter” or “Q3 F22”).

Three months to 31 December   2021  

2020

 

Change

Passengers carried   7,787,198 2,268,436 243.4%
Revenue (€ million)   408.4 149.9 172.5%
EBITDA (€ million)   (87.5) (42.8) (104.3%)
EBITDA margin (%)   (21.4) (28.6) +7.2ppts
Operating loss for the period (€ million)   (213.6) (141.9) (50.5%)
Reported loss for the period (€ million)   (267.5) (116.4) (129.8%)
RASK (€ cent)   2.49 2.70 (7.8%)
Ex-Fuel CASK (€ cent)   2.67 4.57 (41.5%)
Total cash (€ million)*   1,400.3 1,202.0 16.5%
Load factor (%)   77.1 63.1 +14ppts
Period-end fleet size   150 137 9.5%

* Total cash comprises cash and cash equivalents, short-term cash deposits, and current and non-current restricted cash.

József Váradi, Wizz Air Group Chief Executive Officer commented on the results: “Wizz Air continued its recovery during the third quarter of F22 and well exceeded 2019 passenger and capacity levels in the peak holiday traveling period, despite the emergence of the Omicron variant.

“In total, we carried 7.8 million passengers with a load factor of 77.1%. During peak weeks our capacity reached 110% of 2019 ASKs.

“Our operating loss was €213.6 million as travel restrictions continued to affect demand as we continued to ramp up our workforce, fleet, bases and routes to support our path to full utilisation and pre-Covid 19 cost structure by late Spring 2022. Our liquidity remained strong and closed at €1.4 billion at the end of December 2021.”

Commenting on business developments, Mr Váradi said: “We have reached major milestones in the course of the fiscal third quarter.

“In November, we placed an order for up to 196 new Airbus neo Family Aircraft that comprise of A321neo and A321XLR aircraft, with the bulk of deliveries from 2025 onwards.

“This order will be a cornerstone for our ambition to reach 500 aircraft by the end of the decade.

“The new aircraft were ordered on highly competitive terms and represent the best technology available in the market today.

“They will be instrumental in Wizz Air continuing to deliver against the lowest unit cost in the industry with the lowest environmental footprint.

“In December we acquired an important portfolio of slots at London Gatwick airport that will enable us to grow to a base of five aircraft and will increase access to customers in the crucial London and South of England market.

“As of Spring, this will enable us to offer customers competitive ticket prices to a host of well-known and emerging destinations on our new A321neo fleet.

“We have also announced our four-year 2026 1.00% EUR bond offering, at pricing even more attractive compared to our debut offering last year.

“The proceeds will further support Wizz Air’s ambitions as it scales-up to become an even stronger low-cost player in the coming years.”

On current trading and the outlook for the full year, Mr Váradi added: “We continued our investment in recruitment and training, bringing in more than 1,500 talented people since the start of last summer.

“In January 2022 we counted already 5,550 employees, surpassing our pre-pandemic number of colleagues, in support of our growth ambitions.

“Our fleet also continued to grow and we ended the quarter with 150 aircraft, having taken delivery of eight new A321neo and returning two A320ceo aircraft’.

Throughout the third quarter we continued to stimulate demand with pricing, whilst staying agile in adjusting capacity that is not cash-contribution positive.

“The emergence of the Omicron variant and renewed travel restrictions impacted our trading performance late in the quarter and we expect demand in January, February and part of March to be impacted by ongoing travel uncertainty.

“As such, Wizz Air anticipates the operating loss for Q4 F22 to be slightly higher than the operating loss of €213.6 million for Q3 F22.

“Despite the short-term headwinds, we are cautiously optimistic for a continued recovery into Spring and near-full utilisation from Summer onwards.

“We continue to back our strategic choices to invest in our fleet, grow our bases and routes, and lower our unit cost in order to take advantage of the market created in the wake of COVID-19.

“We are on track to have 170 aircraft fully utilised this Summer, in a more connected and diversified network and with 6,700 people engaged in what they do best, which is to provide superb service at unbeatable prices aboard the youngest and most sustainable and efficient fleet of narrow-body aircraft operated in Europe today.”

Q3 F22 FINANCIAL RESULTS

  • Total revenue amounted to €408.4 million.  Compared to Q3 F21:
    • Ticket revenues increased by 137.7% to €162.3 million.
    • Ancillary revenues increased by 201.6% to €246.0 million.
    • Total unit revenue decreased by 7.8% to 2.49 euro cents per available seat kilometre (ASK).
    • Whereas ancillary revenue per passenger decreased by 12.2% to €31.6 versus F21, it was still 4.8% higher vs F20. Ticket revenue per passenger decreased by 30.8% to €20.8 versus F21.
  • Total operating expenses (including exceptional items) increased 113.2% to €621.9 million. Compared to Q3 F21:
    • Ex-fuel unit costs decreased by 41.5% to 2.67 euro cents per ASK.
    • Fuel unit costs increased by 22.9% to 1.24 euro cents per ASK
    • Total unit costs decreased by 29.9% to 3.92 euro cents per ASK.
  • Operating loss for the period was €213.6 million. Net reported loss for the period was €267.5 million.
  • FX losses for Q3 amounted to €31.1 million as the USD strengthened significantly during the quarter versus the EUR, which drove a material (unrealized) FX loss given our long position on USD liabilities on the balance sheet
  • Total cash (including short-term deposits and restricted cash balances) as at 31 December 2021 was €1,400.3 million.
  • Wizz Air maintains an investment grade credit rating by Fitch (BBB-) and Moody’s (Baa3).