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Jan. 28, 2021, 3:12 a.m. EST

Wizz Air swings to loss, won't give guidance

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By Anthony O. Goriainoff

Wizz Air Holdings PLC said Thursday that it swung to a pretax loss for the third quarter of fiscal 2021 as revenue fell, and that it wasn't providing any financial guidance due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The central and eastern Europe-focused budget airline said that for the quarter ended Dec. 31, pretax loss was 115.9 million euros ($140.4 million) compared with a profit of EUR22.2 million for the same period of fiscal 2020.

Revenue for the period came in at EUR68.3 million, down significantly from EUR336.3 million the year before.

Underlying net loss--a key metric which strips out exceptional and other one-off items--was EUR114.5 million compared with a profit of EUR21.1 million in the year-prior period.

The airline said it carried 2.3 million passengers in the period, a fall of 77%. The company said this was a direct result of travel restrictions stemming from the pandemic.

Quarterly operating expenses fell 52% to EUR291.7 million, the company said.

Wizz's load factor--a measure of how full a plane is--stood at 63.1%, down from 92.5% in the year-earlier period.

"We believe capacity levels in view of the restrictions will continue to be depressed during January, February and part of March 2021 and with the increasing administration of the Covid-19 vaccine we expect 2021 to be a year of transition with Wizz Air ready to service underlying demand in a fast and agile way as it becomes increasingly unrestricted," the company said.

Shares at 0803 GMT are down 0.50 pence, or 2.3%, at 21.50 pence.

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