Wizz Air swings to quarterly loss as 2021 to be year of transition

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Wizz Air Holdings PLC (LON:WIZZ) said 2021 will be a transition year out of the COVID-19 crisis after swinging to a quarterly loss.

The budget airline strengthened its liquidity position with a €500mln three-year bond issued earlier in January, adding to the total cash balance of €1.2bn at the end of December.

READ: IAG and Wizz Air should bounce back as summer hols at risk, say analysts

In the three months to December 31, the number of passengers plummeted 77% to 2mln, meaning revenue was 76% lower at €149mln. As a result, Wizz Air swung to a €116mln statutory net loss from a €21mln profit in 2019.

Operating costs decreased 52% to €291mln while staff costs were reduced by 43% to €33mln after job and salary cuts.

The carrier continued with its aggressive expansion plan as it opened its Abu Dhabi base this month, with the inaugural flight departed on January 15.

“We see the risk to underlying forecasts to the downside, as increasingly tough travel restrictions, falling GDP and a sharp drop in migration impact demand,” analysts at Peel Hunt commented.

“Wizz Air closed its holiday business and so is less exposed to pent-up demand for leisure travel.”

Shares were flat at 4,212p early on Thursday.

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