Wizz Air has recorded a loss for the 12 month period that ended on March 31, 2021.
The European budget airline warned of further losses in its current financial year, amid a slower-than-expected recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chief Executive Statements
The ultra-low cost carrier faces another "transition year" as travel curbs linger on, chief executive Jozsef Varadi said as the company recorded a €576 million net loss for the 12 month period that ended on March 31 of this year.
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"Unless we see an accelerated and permanent lifting of restrictions we expect a reported net loss in full-year 2022," Varadi said.
New Routes And New, More Efficient Jets
Despite the uncertainty, Wizz and low-cost peers such as Ryanair have used the COVID-19 crisis to add new routes as traditional airline rivals retrench. The Hungarian carrier now has 43 aircraft bases operating or announced, compared with 25 before the pandemic.
Wizz has also leveraged a strong cash position to continue acquiring new, more efficient jets that will sharpen its competitive edge in an eventual rebound. Its fleet increased by 16 aircraft to 137 at year end.
The airline said that it expects to fly approximately 30% of its pre-crisis capacity in its current first quarter, returning to full schedules only in its 2022-2023 financial year.
Goodbody Analyst Statement
"Commentary from the company suggests the market will need to adjust its expectations down, with this likely to overshadow sentiment in the short term," Goodbody analyst Mark Simpson said.
The underlying full-year loss excluding fuel hedging deficits amounted to €482 million, Wizz said, on a 73% revenue decline to €739 million.
Liquidity stood at €1.617 billion as of March 31, with the company burning cash at a rate of €84 million during the entire last quarter. The cash and earnings numbers were in line with unaudited results published in an April 15 trading statement.