WestJet today announced its fourth quarter and year-end results for 2013, with record net earnings of $268.7 million, or $2.03 per diluted share, up from the net earnings of $242.4 million, or $1.78 per diluted share reported for the full-year 2012.
For the fourth quarter, the airline reported diluted earnings per share of $0.52, up from $0.46 reported last year. This represents WestJet’s 35th consecutive quarter of profitability, and based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 13.9 per cent, compared with the 13.8 per cent reported in the previous quarter.
“We continued to expand on our success in 2013 as several key accomplishments, including the launch of WestJet Encore and our Fare Bundles product, helped us achieve a year of record earnings, and a return on invested capital above our 12 per cent target for the sixth consecutive quarter,” said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. “We are very excited about continuing our success into 2014, and I am grateful to our nearly 10,000 WestJetters for the commitment they demonstrate to our guests every day.”
Today, WestJet declared a 20 per cent increase to its quarterly dividend from $0.10 to $0.12 per common voting share and variable voting share. “We are pleased to be able to continue returning value to our shareholders as we are confident in our robust business model and strong balance sheet,” added Gregg Saretsky.
WestJet expects continued strong traffic and revenue growth in the first quarter of 2014, and to achieve continued earnings growth for the full-year 2014.
On January 9, 2014, WestJet was named 2014 Value Airline of the Year as part of Air Transport World magazine’s 40th annual global airlines industry achievement awards, adding to the list of numerous awards the airline has received in previous years. “To be recognized globally for value is an enormous honour and a testament to the hard work of our nearly 10,000 WestJetters,” added Gregg Saretsky. “Value is in our DNA. We strive every day to bring value to our guests and we are grateful for their loyalty and support. We are very proud to win this award and especially, in a category so close to our hearts.”
On February 3, 2014, WestJet’s Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.12 per common voting share and variable voting share for the first quarter of 2014, to be paid on March 31, 2014, to shareholders of record on March 19, 2014. All dividends paid by WestJet are, pursuant to subsection 89(14) of the Income Tax Act, designated as eligible dividends, unless indicated otherwise. An eligible dividend paid to a Canadian resident is entitled to the enhanced dividend tax credit.