- Budget carrier Wizz Air more than doubled its annual profit as it carried more passengers on a fast-expanding route network throughout Europe.

Net profit for the year through March jumped to €281.1m, up from €123.0m on-year, as revenue rose 19% to €2.76bn amid a 16% jump in passenger numbers.

Underlying net profit rose 30% to €344.8m.

Chief executive Jozsef Varadi said it was too early to provide a detailed outlook for the current financial year, which had seen revenue plummet due to flight groundings.

The company did say, however, that it did not 'expect a positive development' in terms of available seat kilometres and profit margin.

'However, Wizz Air's market positioning and our ever-disciplined attitude to cost mean that we will emerge from this crisis as an even more formidable business,' Varadi said.

'We are confident that we can ramp up operations quickly, re-stimulate demand with our ultra-low fares and contribute to the vital recovery of travel and tourism in our markets.'

Wizz Air said it had one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry, with €1.5bn of total cash at the end of March.

Cost saving measures had included cutting employee numbers by 19% in the short term.

'Despite difficult conditions, we expect to grow the number of seats by roughly 9 per cent compared to 2020, in line with the growth of the fleet to 131 aircraft by March 2021,' Wizz Air said.

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