Budget carrier Wizz Air has boosted its annual profit guidance off the back of soaring autumn revenues and passenger numbers.
Wizz now expects full-year profits of €350 million and €355 million, up from previous guidance of €335 million to €350 million.
It comes after Wizz on Wednesday (29 January) posted record third-quarter (three months to 31 December) profits of €21.4 million, up €42.4 million on the same period last year from a €21 million loss.
Passenger numbers for the quarter, meanwhile, increased 23.2% to 10 million.
“It has been another quarter of significant achievement,” said Jozsef Varadi, chief executive of Wizz.
Total Q3 revenue increased 24.6% to €637.3 million, with ticket revenues up 15.5% to €336.3 million and ancillaries 36.7% to €301.1 million.
Wizz’s route network, meanwhile, has grown to 710 across 45 countries flying from 25 bases after adding more than 100 new routes since the start of its 2019/20 financial year.
The Wizz fleet has grown to 120 aircraft at an average age of five years.
“Wizz Air again reports record financial performance in the third quarter,” said Varadi. “Our low-fare, low-cost business model delivered a net profit of €21.4 million compared to a broadly break-even operational outcome in the same period last year.
“We have delivered unit cost reductions ahead of expectations with ex-fuel CASK (cost per available seat kilometre) improving 5.6% year-on-year. While growing passenger volumes by an industry leading 23% in the third quarter, we have achieved both higher load factors and improved yields.”
Looking ahead, Varadi said he expected “even faster” growth in Q4 and additional growth in the 2020/21 financial year off the back of new summer routes.
“Wizz Air also confirms current trading conditions continue to be favourable with a relatively benign competitive environment, stable fuel prices and a positive yield environment.
“Despite our additional investment in growth in the fourth quarter, the company is today [29 January] raising its net profits guidance to a range of between €350 million to €355 million for the full year.”
Varadi said he expected Wizz’s recently announced UAE airline venture, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, to be operational in the second half of 2020, describing it as an "incremental path of growth for Wizz Air" building on its ultra-low cost business model.
“We believe the new airline, which is expected to be operational in the second half of 2020, has the potential to be a significant player in the region operating over 50 aircraft within 10 years,” said Varadi.