WestJet Airlines beats expectations as Q3 profits surge to $119.4 million

CALGARY — WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it earned $119.4 million in the third quarter, the second-highest level in the airline’s history.

The Calgary-based airline says that equated to $1.02 per diluted share, compared with 61 cents per share or $70.1 million a year earlier.

Revenues increased 10.5 per cent to $1.39 billion, up from $1.26 billion in the prior year despite carrying fewer passengers.

The airline was expected to earn $91.4 million or 80 cents per share on $1.35 billion in revenues, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

WestJet says it won’t hold a conference call to discuss the quarterly results ahead of its planned $3.5-billion acquisition by Onex Corp., which is being contested by Air Canada over foreign ownership limits.

WestJet shareholders approved the proposed acquisition in July, with 92.5 per cent voting in favour. The same month, an Alberta court approved the deal, which Onex and WestJet expect to complete following further regulatory green lights later this year.

“We are very pleased with these remarkable results, achieving our highest ever third quarter load factor, second-highest ever third quarter net earnings and the third-highest quarterly net earnings in WestJet’s history,” said Ed Sims, WestJet president and CEO.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2019.

Companies in this story: (TSX:WJA, TSX:ONEX, TSX:AC)

The Canadian Press