Copa Holdings' CEO Discusses Q3 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Copa Holdings, S.A. ( CPA)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

November 9, 2011 11:00 a.m. ET


Joseph Putaturo – Director of Investor Relations

Pedro Heilbron – Chief Executive Officer and Director

Victor Vial – Chief Financial Officer


Luiz Campos – Credit Suisse

Catherine O’Brien – Deutsche Bank

Jim Parker – Raymond James

Eduardo Couto – Goldman Sachs

Dan McKenzie – Rodman & Renshaw

Bob McAdoo - Avondale Partners



Ladies and gentlemen thank you for standing by. Welcome to Copa Holdings Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Call. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this call is being webcast and recorded on November 9, 2011. Now I would like to turn the conference over to Joe Putaturo, Director of Investor Relations. Sir, you may begin.

Joseph Putaturo

Thank you very much, operator, and welcome, everyone, to our second quarter earnings call. Joining us today are Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Holdings; and Victor Vial, our Chief Financial Officer.

First, Pedro will open up with our third quarter highlights, followed by Victor who will discuss our financial results. Immediately after, we'll open up the call for questions from analysts. Copa Holdings' third quarter financial results have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards.

In today's call, we will discuss non-IFRS financial measures. A reconciliation of non-IFRS to IFRS financial measures can be found in our third quarter earnings release, which has been posted on the company's website,

In addition, our discussion will contain forward-looking statements not limited to historical facts that reflect the company's current beliefs, expectations and intentions regarding future events and results. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and are based on assumptions that are subject to change. Many of these risks and uncertainties are discussed in our annual report filed with the SEC. Now I'd like to turn the call over to our CEO, Pedro Heilbron.

Pedro Heilbron

Thank you, Joe, and good morning, everyone. I'm glad you could join us this morning for our third quarter earnings call. As always, my gratitude and recognition goes out to our co-workers for delivering another solid quarter, in which strong underlying demand together with a considerable capacity expansion led to outstanding revenue and earnings growth.

Among the main highlights for the quarter, demand continued on a very positive trend with passenger traffic increasing 22% for the quarter. Our consolidated load factor came in at a very 77.1% even more so when you take into account our year-over-year capacity growth which was mere 20%.

Operating revenues grew more than 30% driven by higher year-over-year load factors and yields in both our international and domestic markets. Our strong revenue performance along with slight year-over-year reduction in ex-fuel CASM allowed us to deliver outstanding third quarter revenues and earnings, as well as one of the best operating margins in the industry.

On the operational front, we went through a full quarter operating under a new fixed bank hub structure and the results have been quite positive, both from an operational as well as from a product standpoint. The implementation of our 6-bank hub is allowing us not only to better utilize the Tocumen Airport infrastructure, personnel and equipment but it’s also allowing us to provide our passengers with more and better flight options through the addition of more destinations and frequencies as well as permitting significant schedule improvements throughout our network.

We also marked the first full quarter since the launch of four new destinations last June 15. I am pleased to say that so far the performance of these new destinations, Toronto, Porto Alegre and Brasilia and Nassau have met or exceeded our original expectations.

Next month we will continue to strengthen our Hub of the Americas, the leading hub for intra-Latin American travel by adding service to five new city. Chicago, the third largest city in the US, Monterrey, Mexico, an important business and industrial center, which hosts a large number of Mexican and multinational company that do business in our region. Asuncion, the largest city and capital of Paraguay, Montego Bay, Jamaica our 12 th destination in the Caribbean, and Cucuta, an important commercial center with limited access to the region and our ninth city in Colombia.

So, by year's end, our network will serve 59 cities in 28 countries in the Americas, by far the most complete and convenient network for intra-Latin American travel.

Also, on the operational front, during the third quarter, we took delivery of five Boeing 737-800. As a result, our fleet at the end of the quarter stood at 71 aircrafts, 45 Boeing NG's and 26 Embraer-190s with an average age of less than five years. In addition, in October, we took delivery of our ninth 800 this year, and with one more delivery scheduled in November we expect to end the year with a fleet of 73 aircraft.

For the quarter, Copa Holdings reported on-time performance of 91.3% and a flight-completion factor of 99.6%, which once again places us among the best in the industry. In short, we had a great quarter financially and operationally, and as you can see from our recently released October traffic figures where international traffic grew more than 20% year-over-year the main trends continue to be favorable in the fourth quarter.

Our 2012 growth trends incorporate several new destinations. As we continue reinforcing what is currently the most complete and convenient intra-Latin American network. We will also keep working on product and cost initiative that would further improve our long term competitive position.

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