Copa Holdings SA (NYSE:CPA) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 13, 2020 • 11:00 am ET


Copa Holdings SA (NYSE:CPA) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Copa Holdings Fourth Quarter and Full Year Earnings Call. [Operator Instructions] Afterward, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions]

Now, I will turn the conference call over to Raul Pascual, Director of Investor Relations. Sir, you may begin.

Raul Pascual

Thank you very much, Chris, and welcome everyone to our fourth quarter and full year earnings call. Joining us today are Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Holdings; and Jose Montero, our CFO. First, Pedro will start with our fourth quarter and full year highlights followed by Jose, who will discuss our financial results. Immediately after, we will open the call for questions from analysts.

Copa Holdings' financial reports have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards. In today's call, we will discuss non-IFRS financial measures. A reconciliation of the non-IFRS to IFRS financial measures can be found in the earnings release, which has been posted in 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/or 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, Mr. Pedro Heilbron.

Pedro Heilbron

Thank you, Raul. Good morning to all, and thanks for participating in our fourth quarter earnings call. First, I want to recognize all of our coworkers for their efforts during the year. Their ongoing dedication and commitment keep us at the forefront of Latin American aviation. Today, we're proud to report strong fourth quarter and full year results despite the missed revenue opportunities, as well as the operational and financial drag created by the prolonged MAX grounding.

We're also pleased to report we're seeing good booking trends and despite potential headwinds, are encouraged by the prospects for 2020. Among the main highlights for the quarter, passenger traffic decreased only 1.7% year-over-year on a capacity decline of 4.6%. This resulted in an 85.3% load factor, 2.5 percentage points higher year-over-year. Yields came in at $0.125 or 6% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2018. Unit revenues or RASM increased 8.9% year-over-year to $0.111.

On the cost side, our CASM, excluding the non-cash fleet impairment charge, came in at $0.093. Excluding fuel, our adjusted unit cost came in at $0.066, or 6.4% higher year-over-year, due mainly to the reduced capacity and cost inefficiencies associated with the MAX fleet grounding as well as increased expenses related to the stronger revenue performance.

Operating margin, excluding special items, came in at 15.7%. On the operational front, Copa earnings delivered an on-time performance of 91.9% and a completion factor of 99.8%, again industry-leading results.

Now, turning to our main highlights for the full year 2019. Unit revenues increased 3.9% year-over-year to $0.108,