The largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, sees profit soaring again this year.
Budapest-based Wizz Air reported a 22 per cent rise in net profit to EUR 275 million for the financial year ending March 31, 2018 while revenues rose 24% to EUR 1.9 billion.
The rise in revenues was attributed to higher passenger numbers and a 24% rise in ancillary revenues.The latter amounted to EUR 816 mln, representing 42% of total revenue.
Passenger numbers rose 24.7% to 29.6 million, increasing Wizz Air’s position as CEE’s leading low cost carrier with a 42% market share.
The company, which operates one of the youngest aircraft fleets in the world- the average age of its aircraft is approximately 4.6 years old – continued to invest significantly by adding 14 aircraft to its fleet during the period, bringing the total number of aircraft to 93, and improved its load factor from 90.1% to 91.3%.
Commenting on the results, Jozsef Varadi, Wizz Air’s Chief Executive Officer said:
“The 2018 financial year was another year of investment and driving efficiencies in Wizz Air’s operations as we continue on our mission to become Europe’s undisputed airline cost leader. This relentless focus on cost means we continue to stimulate the market through the lowest fares, resulting in record passenger numbers of almost 30 million up 25% year on year”.
Wizz remains optimistic about prospects, projecting net profit of EUR 310-340 mln for the coming twelve months.The strength of its balance sheet recently recognised by investment grade ratings agencies Fitch and Moody’s is a historic milestone in the development of the company. These ratings will enable Wizz Air not only to access new sources of aircraft financing but also financing at even lower cost than at present, the company said.
Founded on February 2003, Wizz's lead investor was Indigo Partners, an American private equity firm specialising in transportation investments. The first flight was made from Poland's Katowice International Airport on 19 May 2004.
(Wizz Air Stock Performance on London Stock Exchange)
On February 2015, Wizz Air successfully completed an initial public offering and has since been listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker WIZZ. It is included in the FTSE 250 and FTSE All-Share Indices. Wizz Air was recently named 2017 - European Airline of the Year by Aviation 100, a renown annual publication that recognises the year’s most outstanding performers in the aerospace industry.
In October 2017, the Hungarian company launched a brand new UK airline, Wizz Air UK Limited, confirming its commitment to the UK market. The new airline is based at London Luton, taking advantage of a number of take-off and landing slots acquired from Monarch Airlines when the latter entered administration in 2017. Wizz said that the new airline will employ up to 100 staff by the end of 2018.
(Wizz Air has expanded its fleet to 93 aircraft, a mix of 67 A320neos and 26 A321neos)
In January 2018, the Hungarian company announced a new base at Vienna International Airport in Austria. with five based aircraft committed.
Today, Wizz Air offers more than 600 routes from 27 bases, connecting 141 destinations across 44 countries. It remains among the top 10 most visited airline websites in the world with the highest share of mobile visitors. The mobile app user base doubled again to 7.4 million users in financial year 2018.
The company now has 256 Airbus A320 family neo aircraft on order and these ultra-efficient, next-step technology aircraft will underpin the growth plans for the next decade. Probably for Wizz Air, the sky is not the limit.