BUSINESS

WestJet Profit Drops 30% As Falling Loonie Takes A Bite

02/02/2016 01:17 EST | Updated 02/02/2017 05:12 EST
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CANADA - JUNE 08: A WestJet plane taxi's on the runway of Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Wednesday, June 8, 2005. (Photo by Norm Betts/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
CALGARY — WestJet Airlines has been hit hard by the dollar's decline, which contributed to a 30 per cent decline in fourth-quarter profit.

The Calgary-based airline says its net income and adjusted earnings were both $63.4 million or 51 cents per share, down by $27.3 million from $90.7 million the fourth quarter of 2014.

WestJet says the 2015 fourth quarter included a $10.1 million loss on foreign exchange.

Revenue declined by 3.6 per cent to $958.7 million in the three months ended Dec. 31 from $994.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The fourth quarter provided a weak ending to an otherwise strong year for WestJet, which saw net income rise by 29.4 per cent in 2015 to $367.5 million. WestJet's adjusted earnings were also $367.5 million, up 15.9 per cent from 2014.

The company says it will increase its 2015-16 share buyback program to six million shares, up 50 per cent from the previous limit of four million shares. WestJet has already bought back 3.2 million shares for cancellation since May 13, 2015.

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