Geneva, 25 May 2017: Wizz Air Holdings Plc ("Wizz Air" or the "Company"), the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe1, today announces its audited results for the full year ended 31 March 2017 ("FY2017" or "FY17") for the Company as a whole, and separately for its airline ("Airline") and tour operator ("Wizz Tours") business units2.
1 Central and Eastern Europe, or CEE, is a region comprised of Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.
2 Starting from this financial year the Company introduces separate reporting for its airline and tour operator business units. Where a measure is reported for a business unit then this is explicitly stated. All other measures and statements relate to the Group as a whole. See also Note 4 to the financial statements.
3 International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS")
4 A reconciliation between underlying (non-GAAP) and IFRS profit for the year is set out in the Financial Review and also in Note 5 to the financial statements
RECORD PROFITABILITY DESPITE CHALLENGING CONDITIONS
· Total revenue increase of 10% to €1,571 million
o Ticket revenue up 2% to €916 million
o Ancillary revenue up 23% to €655.7 million, ancillary revenue up €0.8 to €27.5 per passenger
· Profit for the year (IFRS) was a record €246.0 million, a year on year increase of 27.5%.
· Underlying net profit was higher at €225 million amidst industry wide yield pressures
· Total cash at the end of March 2017 was €929.9 million of which €774.0 million was free cash.
AIRLINE AND WIZZ TOURS
The segmented reporting illustrates the financial performance of the Airline and Wizz Tours business units separately:
· Airline: FY17 performance:
o Total unit revenue declined 8.5% to 3.75 euro cents per available seat kilometre (ASK).
o Total unit costs fell by 7.8% to 3.15 euro cents per ASK.
o Ex-fuel unit costs decreased by 0.6% to 2.25 euro cents per ASK.
o Fuel unit costs fell by 21.9% to 0.90 euro cents per ASK.
o Reported net profit margin increased 2.2ppt to 15.8%.
o Underlying net profit margin decreased by 1.3ppt to 14.5%.
· Wizz Tours: FY17 package holiday revenues of €18.1 million, a fourfold increase year on year.
STRENGTHENING OUR MARKET LEADING POSITION
· Passengers carried up 18.9% to 23.8 million and load factor up 1.9 ppt to 90.1% securing Wizz Air's position as CEE's leading low cost carrier
· Wizz Discount Club membership increased 29% to over 1 million by year end
· 113 new routes operated including routes to four new CEE destinations and 10 new destinations outside CEE
· Opened four new operating bases in Chisinau (Moldova), Kutaisi (Georgia), Iasi and Sibiu (Romania)
· Two more operating bases announced during FY2017 in London Luton (UK) and Varna (Bulgaria)
· Fleet expansion with 12 new Airbus A321ceo aircraft added during the year taking the fleet to 79 aircraft, a mix of 63 A320ceos and 16 A321ceos, driving efficiency on lower unit costs
· Average aircraft age of 4.4 years, remains one of the youngest fleets of any major European airline
· Reiterating that despite the UK's decision to leave the European Union ("Brexit"), there are no signs of demand weakness on routes to/from the UK. The negative translation effect on British pound revenues due to Brexit in FY2017 is estimated at €17 million, which was absorbed by the rest of Wizz Air's large and diversified route network.
Commenting on the results, József Váradi, Wizz Air's Chief Executive Officer said:
"I am pleased to report another year of profitable growth for Wizz Air, which saw passenger numbers in FY2017 increase 19% year-on-year to 23.8 million, against a trading environment of very low fares and increasing fuel prices, proving that our ultra-low cost business model is the right one for the CEE's number one low cost carrier. We continue to drive our cost base lower to maintain one of the highest profit margins of any European carrier, something to which the exceptional operational and financial performance of our new A321ceo aircraft contributed. We continue to increase the number of brand-new A321ceo which we operate, with the type making up a quarter of our seat capacity at the end of March 2017 and delivering the anticipated double digit cost savings compared to A320ceo aircraft which gives us a clear cost advantage compared to most of our rivals.
The resilience of our ultra-low cost business model combined with our growing, diversified network and our ever stronger balance sheet places Wizz Air in a unique position to exploit the significant market opportunity that exists in the CEE market of over 300 million people. We will continue to expand our route network, drive efficiency in our operating model, grow our ancillary revenue streams and enhance our compelling customer proposition. This winning formula leaves Wizz Air well placed to continue to deliver significant returns for our shareholders.
Growth will continue as a top priority for us and we plan to increase capacity by around 23% and carry nearly 30 million passengers in FY2018. We had a strong start to FY2018 due to the timing of Easter which leaves us optimistic for the year ahead and Group net profit is currently expected to be in a range between €250 million and €270 million in FY2018. This guidance is heavily caveated by the revenue performance for the all-important summer period as well as the second half of FY2018, a period for which we currently have limited visibility."