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Wizz Air delivers record profit despite Brexit uncertainty and higher fuel prices

For the 2020 financial year, the group expects net profit to rise to between €320mln and €350mln.
Wizz Air
Wizz Air says it is "very optimistic" for the current financial year

Wizz Air Holdings PLC (LON:WIZZ) posted record annual profit and revenue despite the absence of Easter traffic,  higher fuel prices and Brexit uncertainty.

Net profit rose by 6% to €291.6mln in the year to the end of March 2019, as expected, on revenue up 19.6% to €2.3bn.

Passenger numbers increased 16.7% to 34.6mln as the budget airline increased its capacity with a 20.4% increase in its fleet to 112.

Ticket revenue grew 21% to €1.4bn while ancillary revenue – derived from charging extras like seat selection, baggage and food – rose 19% to €953mln.

Revenue per available seat kilometres (RASK) was up 2.3% to €0.04.

The load factor – the number of passengers against the number of seats available – edged up 1.5 percentage points to 92.8%.

Total operating costs rose 23% to €2.0bn and total unit costs were up 5% to €0.03 per average seat kilometres, driven by higher fuel costs.

 “This was a very solid performance given the absence of Easter traffic which fell into the end of the last financial year, higher fuel prices and a challenging operating environment across the industry,” said chief executive Jozsef Varadi.

For the 2020 financial year, the group expects net profit to rise to between €320mln and €350mln.

Wizz Air said it has made a solid start to the new year with RASK expected to increase 4%, led by a strong performance in ancillary revenue and the timing of Easter.

“We remain very optimistic for the current financial year,” said Varadi.

“Higher fuel prices are supporting a stronger fare environment and we expect these macro conditions to provide Wizz Air with market share opportunities as weaker carriers withdraw unprofitable capacity. “

UBS said the results were in line with its expectations but the guidance was slightly weaker. The investment bank left its rating on the stock at 'neutral' and its target price at €33.75. 

Shares fell 2.8% to 3,118p in morning trading. 

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