WestJet profits shrink by 63 per cent

Rising fuel costs and CEO resignation a big part of the problem

WestJet airlines is reporting it earned $13.8 million in the first quarter of 2010, a decrease of 63 percent from last year, even though its revenue increased from $579.3 million to $619.8 million over that same period. Rising fuel costs and $3.7 million in expenses related to the resignation of Sean Durfy, the company’s former CEO who left for personal reasons in March, are believed to be largely responsible for the poor performance. Net income was only 10 cents per diluted share, down from 29 cents per share in quarter one 2009. However, the company’s new CEO, Greg Saretsky, says the profitability is satisfactory considering the difficulties of the recession, and that the airline expects to see improvement in the second quarter this year.


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