Air Berlin PLC

Air Berlin improves performance

Seasonal quarterly loss decreased – Strong growth in the sale of individual seats – Higher fleet capacity utilization

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  ots.CorporateNews transmitted by euro adhoc. The issuer is responsible for
  the content of this announcement.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

air transport/Q 1 results 2008

Berlin/London (euro adhoc) - Despite the significant rise in fuel prices, Air Berlin PLC increased its operating income for the 1st quarter of 2008 by 20 percent over the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Seasonal operating loss (EBIT) narrowed from EUR 85 million to EUR 67.7 million. Traditionally, airline companies focusing on tourism-related travel are in the red at the beginning of the year. For the remainder of 2008, the company has embarked on a stringent price and cost optimization programme.

The quarterly sales revenue of the Air Berlin Group (including LTU and Belair) increased from EUR 631.4 million to EUR 654.5 million, i.e. an increase of 4 percent. EBITDAR (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and leasing expenses) increased from EUR 17.3 million to EUR 41.2 million, i.e. an increase of 139 percent. Seasonal EBIT (Earnings before interest and taxes) improved from a loss of EUR 85.0 million to a loss of EUR 67.7 million (+20 percent). The EBIT margin improved from -13.5 to -10.3 percent. Net loss narrowed from EUR 66.4 million to EUR 59 million (+11 percent).

As Ulf Hüttmeyer, Air Berlin´s Chief Financial Officer, explained in Berlin on Thursday: The increase in sales volume is primarily a result of the strong growth in the sale of individual seats for domestic and inter-European flights. However, due to capacity adjustments, the charter business has declined slightly. Hüttmeyer was especially pleased that, in the first quarter, the number of corporate agreements increased by 43 to a total of 536. Excluding fuel cost, the cost per available seat kilometer (CASK) decreased from 3.76 Eurocents to 3.69 Eurocents (-1.9 percent) and, including fuel cost, from 5.02 Eurocents to 5.00 Eurocents (-0.2 percent). The revenue per available seat kilometer (RASK) improved from 5.1 Eurocents to 5.3 Eurocents (+4 percent). For the 1st quarter, the fleet capacity utilization improved from 69.4 to 73.3 percent.

According to Joachim Hunold, Air Berlin´s Chief Executive Officer, the further course of 2008 will be influenced by several factors. Mr. Hunold cited the explosive development of kerosene prices, which have increased from USD 1,050 to USD 1,350 per ton from 31 March (the date of the presentation of the Annual Results) to date alone, the continuing, competition-related price pressures, the cooling-off of the economy and the slow start-up of new long-distance flight services.

As Joachim Hunold stated: "In light of these circumstances, Air Berlin´s Management Board has reacted promptly. For 2008, 88 percent of our fuel requirements are hedged. Our further planning is based on current market prices. Therefore, for the fuel cost of the current year, we have to budget approximately EUR 80 million more than what we had assumed in March. We have worked out a comprehensive package of measures for adapting the Air Berlin Group to the changed market conditions. Among other things, this programme includes capacity adjustments and the elimination of unprofitable flight routes. For the 2008 financial year, we continue to expect a positive operating result."

Air Berlin is Germany´s second-largest airline company. As at the reporting date of 31 March 2008, the company employed 8,488 people and operated a fleet of 127 airplanes

end of announcement                               euro adhoc
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Further inquiry note:

Peter Hauptvogel
Director of Corporate Communications Air Berlin
phone: +49 30 3434 1500
fax: +49 30 3434 1509
e-mail: abpresse@airberlin.com

Branche: Air Transport
ISIN: GB00B128C026
WKN: AB1000
Index: SDAX, Classic All Share, Prime All Share
Börsen: Börse Frankfurt / regulated dealing/prime standard
Börse Berlin / free trade
Börse Hamburg / free trade
Börse Stuttgart / free trade
Börse Düsseldorf / free trade
Börse München / free trade
Original-Content von: Air Berlin PLC, übermittelt durch news aktuell

Das könnte Sie auch interessieren: