Wizz Air posted a net profit of €182.1 million ($204.7 million) for the six months ended Sept. 30, up 15.2% compared to a net profit of €158 million for the year-ago period.
The Central European low-cost carrier (LCC) achieved the result on revenue of €836.4 million, up 15% year-over-year. Ticket revenue rose 11.6% to €544.6million, while ancillary revenue climbed 21.9% to €291.8million. Ancillary revenue now accounts for about one-third of the company’s total turnover.
Passenger numbers were up 20% at 10.7 million on the year-ago period, while load factor rose 1.6% to 90.7% compared to a year previously.
CASK dropped by 5.1% over the six-month period, from 3.64 to 3.46 euro cents.
Announcing the figures in Geneva Nov. 4, CEO József Váradi said that a strong summer performance had reinforced Wizz Air’s market leadership in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region, where it held 39% of the market, with Ireland-based LCC Ryanair second with 30%.
Váradi revealed he had signed a new, five-year contract to lead the airline, at the same time as announcing the departure of CFO Michael Powell “for personal reasons.” Powell had been with the company for eight years, he said, but now wished to “reunite with his family.” He did not give further details.
Wizz Air predicts an 18% ASK growth for the full year, with a “modest improvement” in load factor, while guidance on profit remains unchanged at €190-€200 million, excluding any unusual or exceptional charges.
EVP John Stephenson said there remains good prospects for the CEE region, due to a combination of weak legacy carriers and a propensity to travel among CEE residents that was just 25% of that of their counterparts in Western Europe, which gives plenty of headroom for growth.
This was particularly so, given that CEE economies’ GDP figures were predicted to grow at 3%-4% for the next few years, double the rate of Western European nations.
Wizz Air has recently joined other LCCs in introducing facilities such as allocated seating and the ability for priority boarding passengers to take a second carry-on item of baggage. Both had been in response to customer demand, he said.
The figures were released the day after shareholders approved the purchase of 110 Airbus A321neo. The airline currently has 63 A320ceo in its fleet, with a further 38 ceo-family aircraft on order, with flexibility over which version is eventually delivered.