Wizz Air has flown to a record net profit of €72.4 million in the first quarter of 2019 – on the back of a 20 per cent increase in passenger numbers.
Last year, the low cost carrier posted a profit of €51 million in the same quarter so it has grown its profit for the period by 40 per cent.
Revenue also surged to €691.2 million, 25.4 per cent more than the same quarter last year. EBITDA came in at €187.2 million, a rise of 21.9 per cent.
The airline carried 10.4 million passengers in the quarter until 30 June with a load factor of 93.7 per cent, up 1.7 percentage points on the same quarter in 2018.
Wiz Air grew its network in the first quarter, adding 60 new routes in the period. It now offers more than 650 routes to/from 44 countries from 25 bases.
The carrier now operates a fleet of 114 aircraft with the addition of one Airbus A321 aircraft and one A321neo aircraft in the quarter.
Wizz Air chief executive, József Váradi said of the results: “This performance was achieved in the face of higher fuel prices through our continued and rigorous cost management and strength in both Easter trading and ancillary revenue generation.
“The high economic growth rates across CEE continue and our ultra-low cost model successfully stimulated a further 2 percentage point higher load factor to 94 per cent which, combined with a 5 per cent increase in RASK, saw revenues increase by 25 per cent in the quarter.”
As for the future he added: “We remain optimistic for the current financial year. Higher fuel prices are supporting a stronger fare environment as weaker carriers withdraw unprofitable capacity and as a consequence, Wizz Air raised its full year capacity growth rate from 16 per cent to 20 per cent.
“Notwithstanding this faster pace of growth, we are confident to reconfirm our full year guidance of €320 to €350 million net profit for the year. As usual, this guidance is dependent on the revenue performance for the remainder of the all-important summer period as well as the second half of FY 2020, a period for which the Company, like most airlines, currently has limited visibility.
“Wizz Air’s unique combination of an industry-leading cost base and number one position in the growing CEE market makes us a structural winner. The arrival of game-changing, well priced and attractively financed A321neo aircraft into our fleet has already started.
“This will further extend our advantage as the undisputed cost leader among all European airlines, with market leading growth rates and one of the highest profit margins in the industry.”