October 30, 2018 / 11:04 AM / 15 days ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-WestJet Airlines quarterly profit beats on higher ticket prices

(Corrects to show analysts’ estimates was 33 Canadian cents, not C$1.13, in last paragraph)

Oct 30 (Reuters) - WestJet Airlines Ltd reported a quarterly profit on Tuesday that topped analysts’ estimates as higher ticket prices helped offset an increase in fuel costs.

The Calgary-based carrier, which is Canada’s second biggest airline, said revenue per passenger miles - an indication of how much the airline gets from each passenger - rose almost 9 percent during the quarter.

With escalating fuel costs squeezing profit margins, airlines are scaling back on capacity despite strong demand from passengers and a rise in fares.

“We have achieved this result despite continued downward pressure from the dramatic increases in fuel price,” Chief Executive Officer Ed Sims, said in a statement.

WestJet’s fuel costs jumped more than 30 percent year-over-year, taking operating expenses up 16 percent to C$1.18 billion.

The carrier reported a net profit of C$45.9 million ($35 million), or 40 Canadian cents per share, for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to C$135.9 million, or C$1.15 per share, a year earlier.

Average analysts’ profit estimate was 33 Canadian cents per share for the quarter, according to Refinitiv data.

Revenue rose to C$1.26 billion from C$1.21 billion. ($1 = 1.3118 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Debroop Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)

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