WestJet reports first-quarter profit falls from year ago mark, revenue up

CALGARY — WestJet Airlines Ltd. shares plummeted to their lowest levels in more than a year after reporting what it called a challenging first quarter in which it booked higher fuel costs.

The Calgary-based company says it earned $37.2 million, or 32 cents per diluted share, down from a profit of $46.7 million, or 40 cents per diluted share, a year ago.

That fell short of analysts’ expectations for earnings of 36 cents per share, according to data from Thomson Reuters Eikon.

WestJet shares were down nearly 10 per cent or $2.16 at $19.94 in early trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Revenue for the three-month period totalled $1.19 billion, up from $1.11 billion in the same quarter last year.

The increase in revenue came as capacity increased 4.3 per cent and revenue passenger miles — a measure of traffic — increased 6.5 per cent.

WestJet’s load factor, a measure of how full its aircraft were, increased to 84.8 per cent compared with 83 per cent a year ago.

However, fuel costs per litre rose 14.1 per cent compared with the same quarter last year.

Companies in this story: (TSX:WJA)

The Canadian Press

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