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Westjet continues profitability trend, with rare profit in tough 4Q08, but outlook challenging


WestJet continued its profitability trend in the three months ended 31-Dec-08 (4Q08), reporting a net profit of USD32.9 million (although this represented a 45.9% year-on-year reduction). While WestJet’s 4Q08 results were “among the best” in North America, they also reflected the challenges in the current operating environment, characterised by unpredictable oil prices, economic uncertainty and volatility in the financial markets. [2063 words]

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  • Weakening of economic conditions effects unit revenue and yields
  • Healthy balance sheet with over CAD820 million in cash; considering acquisitions in weak industry environment
  • Continues to grow to gain market share from rival
  • Year-on-year North American carrier's domestic passenger capacity growth (% change year-on-year): 2008
  • Continues effective seasonal deployment strategy
  • Expanding international reach through commercial agreements
  • Outlook: Stronger the most in 2009

Graphs and data:

  • WestJet financial highlights for three months ended 31-Dec-08
  • WestJet revenue (CAD)and net profit margin (%): 4Q06 to 4Q08
  • WestJet operating margins (%): 2Q04 to 4Q08
  • Select North American carriers 4Q08 operating margins (%): 4Q08
  • Select North American carriers' yield (US cents per RPM): 4Q08
  • Fuel cost as a proportion of total operating expenses: 2Q04 to 4Q08
  • Canada domestic capacity breakdown by carrier (seats per week as % of total)
  • WestJet fleet plan: 2009 to 2013
  • Future alignments with key international partner airlines
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