Transat A.T. Inc. - Results for third quarter of 2021

Operations resumed since July 30

For the third quarter:

  • Revenues of $12.5 million
  • Adjusted operating loss1 of $50.9 million (operating loss of $98.4 million)
  • Adjusted net loss1 of $115.6 million (net loss attributable to shareholders of $138.1 million)

Financial position and financing:

  • Cash and cash equivalents of $429.4 million as at July 31
  • In total, the available financing represents a maximum of $820.0 million, of which $585.1 million was drawn as at July 31, 2021

Resumption of operations:

  • Partial resumption of airline operations since July 30, 2021

MONTRÉAL, Sept. 9, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - Transat A.T. Inc., one of the largest integrated tourism companies in the world and Canada's holiday travel leader, announces its results for the third quarter ended July 31, 2021.

"We're very pleased we were able to resume operations as scheduled on July 30 and move into the restart phase where our activities can gradually expand, and particularly as we look forward to a winter season that promises to be much busier than the last one. While we must continue to exercise caution given the evolving health situation, and although a full return to normal is still some time away, we're very keen to get the crisis behind us," stated Annick Guérard, President and Chief Executive Officer, Transat.

"Beyond resuming our operating activities, gradually recalling our employees and delivering training, we'll be using this period to implement our strategic plan. We've announced two new destinations in the United States for the winter, we're working on optimizing our capital structure, and we're engaging in a number of discussions towards entering into airline partnership agreements. Our ambitions are high, but we're on the right track," Mrs. Guérard added.

The global air transportation and tourism industry has faced a collapse in traffic and demand. Travel restrictions, uncertainty about when borders will reopen fully, both in Canada and at certain destinations the Corporation flies to, the imposition of quarantine measures and vaccination and testing requirements both in Canada and other countries, as well as concerns related to the pandemic and its economic impacts are creating significant demand uncertainty, at least for fiscal 2021. For the first half of winter 2021, the Corporation rolled out a reduced winter program. On January 29, 2021, following the Canadian government's request to not travel to Mexico and the Caribbean, and the introduction of new quarantine measures and COVID-19 testing requirements, the Corporation announced the complete suspension of all its regular flights and the repatriation of its clients to Canada. Starting July 30, 2021, the Corporation partially resumed its operations and gradually rolled out a reduced summer program. The Corporation cannot predict all the impacts of COVID-19 on its operations and results, or precisely when the situation will improve. The Corporation has implemented a series of operational, commercial and financial measures, including new financing and cost reduction measures, aimed at preserving its cash. The Corporation is monitoring the situation daily to adjust these measures as it evolves. However, until the Corporation is able to resume operations at a sufficient level, the COVID-19 pandemic will have significant negative impacts on its revenues, cash flows from operations and operating results. While progress on vaccination and the lifting of certain restrictions have made it possible to resume operations at a certain level during 2021, the Corporation does not expect such level to reach the pre-pandemic level before 2023.

Preserving cash is a priority for the Corporation; with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Corporation has taken the actions discussed in the Overview section of the MD&A included in our 2020 Annual Report. Other opportunities are being evaluated to achieve this objective and the following additional actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic were taken during the nine-month period ended July 31, 2021:

  • The Corporation completed its efforts to obtain long-term financing. As described in the Financing section of the MD&A, the available financing therefore represents a maximum of $820.0 million, of which $585.1 million was drawn as at July 31, 2021. Of the drawn down amount, a total of $265.1 million was used to repay travellers who were scheduled to leave after February 1, 2020, for which a travel credit had been issued due to COVID-19 and who had requested to be reimbursed.
  • During the quarter ended January 31, 2021, two Airbus A330s and one Boeing 737-800 were returned to lessors early. These are in addition to the three Boeing 737-800s and one Airbus A330 that were returned in advance to their lessors during the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020.
  • The Corporation continuously adjusts its flight program as the situation evolves. Since the resumption of its airline operations on July 30, 2021, Transat offers once again a reduced program of international flights departing from Montréal and Toronto that it intends to enhance gradually.
  • The Corporation is negotiating with its suppliers, including aircraft lessors to benefit from cost reductions and changes in payment terms, and is continuing to implement measures to reduce expenses and investments.
  • The Corporation is continuing to make use of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy ["CEWS"] for its Canadian workforce, which enables it to finance part of the salaries of its staff still at work and, until August 28, 2021, to offer employees on temporary layoff to receive a portion of their salary equivalent to the amount of the grant received, with no work required.
  • As at July 31, 2021, cash and cash equivalents totalled $429.4 million.

Third-quarter highlights

Since mid-March of 2020, restrictions on international travel and government-imposed quarantine measures have made travel sales very difficult. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Corporation suspended its airline operations on January 29, 2021 for the second time since March 2020, until their partial resumption on July 30, 2021. These factors caused the fall in revenues. The Corporation recognized revenues of $12.5 million during the quarter, an increase of $3.0 million or 31.4% compared with 2020. In 2021, revenues were mainly driven by the activities of the Corporation's incoming tour operator in sun destinations.

Operations generated an operating loss of $98.4 million compared with $132.0 million in 2020, an improvement of $33.6 million. Transat reported an adjusted operating loss1 of $50.9 million compared with $79.9 million in 2020, an improvement of $29.0 million. The decreases in operating loss and adjusted operating loss1 were due to the unfavourable settlement of fuel derivative contracts in the third quarter of 2020.

Net loss attributable to shareholders amounted to $138.1 million or $3.66 per share (diluted) compared with $45.1 million or $1.20 per share (diluted) for the corresponding quarter of last year. In 2020, the net loss attributable to shareholders was mitigated by a gain in the fair value of fuel-related derivatives and other derivatives of $67.7 million, related to the significant recovery of fuel prices during the quarter. The deterioration of the net loss attributable to shareholders was also accentuated by the $15.9 million foreign exchange loss recorded in the third quarter of 2021, mainly due to the unfavourable exchange effect on lease liabilities related to aircraft, following the weakening of the dollar against the U.S. dollar. During the third quarter of 2020, the Corporation recognized a $28.5 million foreign exchange gain, resulting mainly from the favourable exchange effect on lease liabilities related to aircraft. Excluding non-operating items, Transat reported an adjusted net loss1 of $115.6 million or $3.06 per share for the third quarter of 2021, compared with $139.8 million or $3.70 per share in 2020.

Nine-month period highlights

As a result of the above-mentioned factors, the Corporation recorded a decrease in its results for the nine-month period ended July 31. Moreover, for the first half of winter 2021, demand was very weak and the Corporation's capacity represented a fraction of the 2020 level. For the nine-month period as a whole, the Corporation recognized revenues of $62.0 million, a decrease of $1.2 billion or 95.1% compared with 2020, and operations generated an operating loss of $282.9 million, compared with $186.6 million in 2020, a deterioration of $96.3 million. Transat reported an adjusted operating loss1 of $155.5 million compared with $31.4 million in 2020, a deterioration of $124.1 million.

Net loss attributable to shareholders amounted to $268.2 million or $7.11 per share (diluted) compared with $258.5 million or $6.85 per share (diluted) for the corresponding nine-month period of last year. Excluding non-operating items, Transat reported an adjusted net loss1 of $328.0 million or $8.69 per share for the nine-month period ended July 31, 2021, compared with $198.9 million or $5.27 per share in 2020.

Financial position

As at July 31, 2021, cash and cash equivalents amounted to $429.4 million, compared with $576.4 million on the same date in 2020. This decrease was mainly attributable to a significant decrease in business and to refunds of travel credits, partially offset by drawdowns on the credit facilities.

In total, the available financing represents a maximum of $820.0 million, of which $585.1 million was drawn down as at July 31, 2021. Of the drawn down amount, a total of $265.1 million was used to repay travellers who were scheduled to leave after February 1, 2020, for which a travel credit had been issued due to COVID-19 and who had requested to be reimbursed.

Deposits from customers for future travel amounted to $262.8 million, compared with $638.1 million as at July 31, 2020, a decrease of $375.3 million. This change was due to refunds of travel credits made during the third quarter of 2021.

The working capital ratio was 1.27, compared with 0.93 as at July 31, 2020. The improvement in working capital resulted from the travel credits refunded during the period and financed partly by the drawdowns on the unsecured credit facility to refund travellers and drawdowns on credit facilities.

Customer deposits as at July 31, 2021 included these travel credits issued for cancelled trips related to COVID-19 amounting to $159.3 million, compared with $504.6 million as at April 30, 2021. On April 29, 2021, the Corporation entered into an agreement with the Government of Canada that also allows it to borrow an amount of $310.0 million to issue refunds to certain travellers. Following this agreement, at the end of August 2021, the Corporation had received requests for about 80% of the amount of credits issued and made refunds for more than 90% of amounts claimed. Customers had until August 26, 2021 to submit their refund requests.

Off-balance-sheet agreements, excluding contracts with service providers, stood at $544.5 million as at July 31, 2021. This amount mainly consists in commitments to take delivery of the seven A321neoLRs undelivered as at that date.

Outlook

The current situation shows encouraging signs such as the level of bookings observed and the increase in the vaccination rate. However, it remains impossible for the moment to predict the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on future bookings, the partial resumption of flight operations and financial results.

The Corporation has implemented a series of operational, commercial and financial measures, including cost reduction, aimed at preserving its cash. The Corporation continues to monitor the situation daily to adjust these measures as it evolves. Please see the Risks and Uncertainties section of the Corporation's MD&A for the year ended October 31, 2020 for a more detailed discussion of the main risks and uncertainties facing the Corporation.

Consequently, for now the Corporation is not providing an outlook for summer 2021 or winter 2022.

Changes in leadership

On May 26, 2021, the Corporation announced the implementation of the succession plan for Jean-Marc Eustache, who retired. Annick Guérard was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer effective May 27, 2021. Ms. Guérard served as Chief Operating Officer since November 2017.

Mr. Eustache also stepped down from his role on the Board of Directors. Raymond Bachand, Lead Director, took  over as Chair of the Board and Ms. Guérard joined the Board of Directors. These changes were effective May 27, 2021.

On May 31, 2021, Daniel Godbout, Senior Vice-President and Advisor to the President, asserted his retirement rights. Mr. Godbout will not be replaced in his functions.

On June 23, 2021, the Corporation also announced the departure of Denis Pétrin, Vice-President, Finance and Administration, and Chief Financial Officer, who left his functions on July 9 and was temporarily replaced by Jacques Simoneau, member of the Board of Directors of Transat, who will serve in an interim role until the recruitment process for Mr. Pétrin's successor is completed.

Following the announcement of the discontinuation of the hotel activity, the employment contract of Jordi Solé, President of the hotel division, was terminated on August 31, 2021.

On November 9, 2018, the Corporation had announced the departure of Jean-François Lemay, President of Air Transat, when the Corporation would find him a successor. Given the circumstances related to the proposed transaction with Air Canada, then to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Lemay and the Corporation had agreed to postpone the planned departure. Mr. Lemay's departure was subsequently postponed until July 31, 2022, in order to identify and put in place his successor and ensure a smooth transition.

In addition, two new members have joined the Corporation's management committee: Michèle Barre, Vice-President, Network, Revenue Management and Pricing, and Joseph Adamo, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer.

Additional Information

The results were affected by non-operating items, as summarized in the following table: 

Highlights and impacts of non-operating items on results
(In thousands of C$)

 

Third quarter

Nine-month period

2021

2020

2021

2020

Revenues

12,548

9,546

62,037

1,273,643

         

Operating loss

(98,368)

(132,013)

(282,896)

(186,630)

Special items

85

(1,109)

7,256

570

Depreciation and amortization

47,355

53,181

120,117

154,620

Adjusted operating loss1

(50,928)

(79,941)

(155,523)

(31,440)

         

Loss before income tax expense

(137,920)

(45,850)

(267,650)

(247,666)

Special items

85

(1,109)

7,256

570

Fuel-related and other derivatives

(2,062)

(67,682)

(10,691)

32,169

Revaluation of liability related to warrants

9,435

10,192

Loss (gain) on asset disposals

(913)

170

(19,810)

170

Foreign exchange loss (gain)

15,939

(28,496)

(46,704)

7,447

Asset impairment

2,384

2,384

Adjusted pre-tax loss1

(115,436)

(140,583)

(327,407)

(204,926)

         

Net loss attributable to shareholders

(138,125)

(45,115)

(268,220)

(258,468)

Special items

85

(1,109)

7,256

(549)

Fuel-related and other derivatives

(2,062)

(67,682)

(10,691)

29,279

Revaluation of liability related to warrants

9,435

10,192

Loss (gain) on asset disposals

(913)

170

(19,810)

170

Foreign exchange loss (gain)

15,939

(28,496)

(46,704)

6,512

Asset impairment

2,384

2,384

Reduction in the carrying amount of
     
deferred tax assets

21,729

Adjusted net loss1

(115,641)

(139,848)

(327,977)

(198,943)

         

Diluted loss per share

(3.66)

(1.20)

(7.11)

(6.85)

Special items

(0.03)

0.19

(0.01)

Fuel-related and other derivatives

(0.05)

(1.79)

(0.28)

0.78

Revaluation of liability related to warrants

0.25

0.27

Loss (gain) on asset disposals

(0.02)

(0.52)

Foreign exchange loss (gain)

0.42

(0.75)

(1.24)

0.17

Asset impairment

0.06

0.06

Reduction in the carrying amount of
     
deferred tax assets

0.58

Adjusted net loss per share1

(3.06)

(3.70)

(8.69)

(5.27)

About Transat

Founded in Montreal 35 years ago, Transat has grown to become a holiday travel reference worldwide, particularly as an air carrier under the Air Transat brand. Voted World's Best Leisure Airline by passengers at the Skytrax World Airline Awards, it flies to international and Canadian destinations, striving to serve its customers with enthusiasm and friendliness at every stage of their trip or stay, and emphasizing safety throughout. Transat has been Travelife-certified since 2018, renewing its fleet with the greenest aircraft in their category as part of a commitment to a healthier environment, knowing that this is essential to the integrity of its operations and the magnificent destinations it serves.(TSX: TRZ).

(1) Non-IFRS financial measures

Transat prepares its financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards ["IFRS"]. We will occasionally refer to non-IFRS financial measures in the press release. These non-IFRS financial measures do not have any meaning prescribed by IFRS and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. They are intended to provide additional information and should not be considered as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. All dollar figures are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.

The following are non-IFRS financial measures used by management as indicators to evaluate ongoing and recurring operational performance.

Adjusted operating income (loss): Operating income (loss) before depreciation, amortization and asset impairment expense, restructuring charge, lump-sum payments related to collective agreements and other significant unusual items, and including premiums for fuel-related derivatives and other derivatives matured during the period. The Corporation uses this measure to assess the operational performance of its activities before the aforementioned items to ensure better comparability of financial results.
Adjusted pre-tax income (loss): Income (loss) before income tax expense before change in fair value of fuel-related derivatives and other derivatives, revaluation of liability related to warrants, gain (loss) on business disposals, gain (loss) on asset disposals, restructuring charge, lump-sum payments related to collective agreements, asset impairment, foreign exchange gain (loss) and other significant unusual items, and including premiums for fuel-related derivatives and other derivatives that matured during the period. The Corporation uses this measure to assess the financial performance of its activities before the aforementioned items to ensure better comparability of financial results.
Adjusted net income (loss): Net income (loss) attributable to shareholders before net income (loss) from discontinued operations, change in fair value of fuel-related derivatives and other derivatives, revaluation of liability related to warrants, gain (loss) on business disposals, gain (loss) on asset disposals, restructuring charge, lump-sum payments related to collective agreements, asset impairment, foreign exchange gain (loss), reduction in the carrying amount of deferred tax assets and other significant unusual items, and including premiums for fuel-related derivatives and other derivatives that matured during the period, net of related taxes. The Corporation uses this measure to assess the financial performance of its activities before the aforementioned items to ensure better comparability of financial results. Adjusted net income (loss) is also used in calculating the variable compensation of employees and senior executives.

Conference call

Third quarter 2021 conference call: Thursday, September 9, 10:00 a.m. Dial 1 800 926-9795 or 1 212 231-2919. Name of conference: Transat. Webcast: follow this link. The archived call will be available at 416 626-4100 or 1 800 558-5253, access code 21990573, until October 8, 2021.

The fourth-quarter results will be announced on December 9, 2021.

Caution regarding forward-looking statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to the Corporation, including those regarding its results, its financial position, the impacts of the coronavirus ["COVID-19"] pandemic, its outlook for the future and planned measures, including in particular the gradual resumption of certain flights and actions to improve its cash flow. These forward-looking statements are identified by the use of terms and phrases such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "will," "would," the negative of these terms and similar terminology, including references to assumptions. All such statements are made pursuant to applicable Canadian securities legislation. Such statements may involve but are not limited to comments with respect to strategies, expectations, planned operations or future actions. Forward-looking statements, by their nature, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by these forward-looking statements.

As at July 31, 2021, there exists material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt on the Corporation's ability to continue as a going concern. The Financial position, liquidity and capital resources section of the MD&A and note 2 to the interim condensed consolidated financial statements contain more detail on this issue.

The global air transportation and tourism industry has faced a collapse in traffic and demand. Travel restrictions, uncertainty about when borders will reopen fully, both in Canada and at certain destinations the Corporation flies to, the imposition of quarantine measures and vaccination and testing requirements both in Canada and other countries, as well as concerns related to the pandemic and its economic impacts are creating significant demand uncertainty, at least for fiscal 2021. For the first half of winter 2021, the Corporation rolled out a reduced winter program. On January 29, 2021, following the Canadian government's request to not travel to Mexico and the Caribbean, and the introduction of new quarantine measures and COVID-19 testing requirements, the Corporation announced the complete suspension of all its regular flights and the repatriation of its clients to Canada. Starting July 30, 2021, the Corporation partially resumed its operations and gradually rolled out a reduced summer program. The Corporation cannot predict all the impacts of COVID-19 on its operations and results, or precisely when the situation will improve. The Corporation has implemented a series of operational, commercial and financial measures, including new financing and cost reduction measures, aimed at preserving its cash. The Corporation is monitoring the situation daily to adjust these measures as it evolves. However, until the Corporation is able to resume operations at a sufficient level, the COVID-19 pandemic will have significant negative impacts on its revenues, cash flows from operations and operating results. While progress on vaccination and the lifting of certain restrictions have made it possible to resume operations at a certain level during 2021, the Corporation does not expect such level to reach the pre-pandemic level before 2023.

The forward-looking statements may differ materially from actual results for a number of reasons, including without limitation, economic conditions, changes in demand due to the seasonal nature of the business, extreme weather conditions, climatic or geological disasters, war, political instability, real or perceived terrorism, outbreaks of epidemics or disease, consumer preferences and consumer habits, consumers' perceptions of the safety of destination services and aviation safety, demographic trends, disruptions to the air traffic control system, the cost of protective, safety and environmental measures, competition, the Corporation's ability to maintain and grow its reputation and brand, the availability of funding in the future, fluctuations in fuel prices and exchange rates and interest rates, the Corporation's dependence on key suppliers, the availability and fluctuation of costs related to our aircraft, information technology and telecommunications, changes in legislation, unfavourable regulatory developments or procedures, pending litigation and third party lawsuits, the ability to reduce operating costs, the Corporation's ability to attract and retain skilled resources, labour relations, collective bargaining and labour disputes, pension issues, maintaining insurance coverage at favourable levels and conditions and at an acceptable cost, and other risks detailed in the Risks and Uncertainties section of the MD&A included in our 2020 Annual Report.

The reader is cautioned that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of the Corporation's forward-looking statements. The reader is also cautioned to consider these and other factors carefully and not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on a number of assumptions relating to economic and market conditions as well as the Corporation's operations, financial position and transactions. Examples of such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning:

  • The outlook whereby until the Corporation is able to resume operations at a sufficient level, the COVID-19 pandemic will have significant negative impacts on its revenues, cash flows from operations and operating results.
  • The outlook whereby, subject to going concern uncertainty as discussed in note 2 to the interim condensed consolidated financial statements, the Corporation will be able to meet its obligations with cash on hand, cash flows from operations and its borrowing capacity.

In making these statements, the Corporation has assumed, among other things, that travel and border restrictions imposed by government authorities will be relaxed to allow for a resumption of operations of the type and scale expected, that the standards and measures imposed by government and airport authorities to ensure the health and safety of personnel and travellers will be consistent with those announced or currently anticipated, that travellers will continue to travel despite the new health measures and other constraints imposed as a result of the pandemic, that credit facilities and other terms of credit extended by its business partners will continue to be made available as in the past, that management will continue to manage changes in cash flows to fund working capital requirements for the full fiscal year. If these assumptions prove incorrect, actual results and developments may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.

The Corporation considers that the assumptions on which these forward-looking statements are based are reasonable.

These statements reflect current expectations regarding future events and operating performance, speak only as of the date this press release is issued, and represent the Corporation's expectations as of that date. The Corporation disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as required by applicable securities legislation.

SOURCE Transat A.T. Inc.

Media: Christophe Hennebelle, Vice-President, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs, 514-987-1660, ext. 4584; Financial analysts: Jacques Simoneau, Interim Vice-President, Finance and Administration, and Chief Financial Officer, 514 987-1660

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