Wizz Air sees rosier future after record profit

Wizz Air flew in the face of the troubles at some of its peers as it notched up a record profit in the third quarter and predicted a higher-than-expected net profit for the year.

The low-cost airline said it expects net profit to reach between 350 million euros and 355 million euros (£296 million to £300 million), up from previous guidance of 335 million to 350 million euros (£283 million to £296 million).

The London-listed Hungarian company said net profit hit 21.4 million euros (£18.1 million) in the three months to the end of the decade, compared with a loss of 21 million euros (£17.8 million) the year before.

Chief executive Jozsef Váradi promised further progress as the firm prepares to launch new lines ahead of the busy summer.

He added that the company had benefited from benign competition and stable fuel prices.

“Whilst growing passenger volumes by an industry-leading 23% in the third quarter, we have achieved both higher load factors and improved yields. In short, it has been another quarter of significant achievement,” he said.

Revenue at the company increased 24.6% to 637.3 million euros (£538 million). The number of passengers taking its flights rose 23.2% to 10 million.

“Despite it being a turbulent period for the aviation industry, which has intensified over the last year with the administration of Flybmi and Thomas Cook, Wizz Air has remained on an upward trajectory, with positive passenger and revenue growth,” said Julie Palmer, partner at consultancy Begbies Traynor.

She added: “The airline has appealed to more consumers with its efficient and inexpensive flights, flying in the face of competitors such as Flybe who have struggled with rising fuel costs, poor demand and currency fluctuations.

“By maintaining a low-cost model while expanding routes, the business has been able to achieve a healthy profit margin and adapt to changes in the market.”

However, Ms Palmer warned that the airline could still be hit by the fall-out from Brexit and a proposed aviation duty in 2020.

Shares in the business rose by as much as 130p, or 3.2%, to 4,240p on Wednesday morning.