May 25 Wizz Air Holdings reported a 28
percent rise in full-year profit on Thursday and said it had
seen no signs of demand for flights weakening since Britain
voted to leave the EU, helping to send its shares to a record
Shares in the London-listed airline that focuses on flights
to central and eastern Europe jumped as much as 11 percent to a
high of 2,166 pence, with analysts also saying its profit
forecast for the current financial year was above consensus.
The company has faced increased pressure on pricing since
larger low-cost airlines easyJet and Ryanair
added more capacity to rival routes, taking advantage of weak
oil prices to try to capture market share.
Wizz Air said its profit for the 12 months to the end of
March rose to a record 246 million euros ($277 million) from 193
million euros a year earlier while revenue climbed 10 percent to
1.57 billion euros.
For the financial year ending in March 2018, Wizz Air
forecast net profit in a range of 250 million euros to 270
million, though it warned that the estimate would depend heavily
on revenue earned in the busy summer period and its second half.
"The trading environment experienced in the 2017 financial
year 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," Chief Executive József Váradi said.
Analysts at RBC said while the full-year results were in
line with expectations, the profit forecast was 8 percent to 10
percent above the current market consensus.
"This guidance is heavily caveated by the revenue
performance for the all-important summer period as well as the
second half of the 2018 financial year, a period for which we
currently have limited visibility," Váradi said.
Wizz Air said the number of passengers it carried increased
19 percent to 23.8 million during the year and it planned to
boost capacity to carry nearly 30 million in the current
The load factor, a measure of how full its planes were, rose
to 90.1 percent from 88.2 percent.
Wizz Air also said the decline in sterling since the Brexit
vote in June 2016 translated into a 17 million euro hit on
revenue earned in pounds, but that was absorbed by the rest of
its route network.
($1 = 0.8894 euros)
(Reporting by Tenzin Pema and Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru;
editing by David Clarke)