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27.05.2009 – 07:37

Air Berlin PLC

EANS-News: Air Berlin increases revenue and average earnings

Improved management and higher-quality client mix – Profit eases by 27.3 percent

  Corporate news transmitted by euro adhoc. The issuer/originator is solely
  responsible for the content of this announcement.

air transport/Finacial Figures/balance sheet/3-month report /Q1-results

London/Berlin (euro adhoc) - Despite the impact of the economic and financial crisis, Air Berlin's profit and revenue for the first quarter of 2009 came in according to plan. The number of passengers transported decreased to 5.5 million, i.e. a 6.2 percent drop, a figure that bested the branch average. For the first quarter of 2009, seasonal operating loss (EBIT) reached minus EUR 87.3 million (Q1 2008: minus EUR 68.6 million). The reduced branch-wide demand for flight services, in combination with the Easter flight season falling in April rather than in the first quarter, contributed to this development. Revenue reached EUR 661 million, an improvement of 1.2 percent, primarily as a result of the improved average earnings (Yield) per passenger.

Revenue per passenger kilometer (RPK) jumped from 7.22 to 8.33 Eurocents, i.e. an increase of 15.4 percent. Due to the higher cost of kerosene, EBITDAR (Earnings before interest, leasing expenses, depreciation, amortization, interest and taxes), at EUR 27.1 million for the reporting period, was lower than in the corresponding period of the previous year (Q1 2008: EUR 40.3 million). Air Berlin achieved an operating result (EBIT) of minus EUR 87.3 million (Q1 2008: minus EUR 68.6 million). Net profit for the first three months of 2009 amounted to minus EUR 88.4 million (Q1 2008: minus EUR 59.6 million).

As Joachim Hunold, Air Berlin's CEO, concluded on Wednesday in Berlin: "In this challenging economic environment, Air Berlin has per-formed better than other European airline companies. We were able to increase our charter-business revenue, especially due to improved capacity management on our long-haul flights. Furthermore, despite a shrinking market environment, we have succeeded in keeping single-seat ticket sales relatively stable."

Ulf Hüttmeyer, Air Berlin's CFO, stated that the revenue increase per available passenger kilometer hinged on the improved management and the higher-quality client mix. Despite the slightly lower load factor of 71,5 percent (minus 1.8 percentage points), revenue per available seat kilometer (RASK) increased by 12.6 percent to 5.96 Eurocents. The number of corporate agreements reached 868, with the first quarter focusing on extending existing agreements. The growing price consciousness among business and corporate clients has resulted in increased demand for Air Berlin flights.

Cost development for the first quarter of 2009 (plus 3.2 percent), at EUR 638 million, resulted mainly from the reverberating effects of the previous year. This includes hedging transactions for fuel and standard wage increases. Other operating expenses decreased by 5.9 percent to EUR 114 million.

end of announcement                               euro adhoc

Further inquiry note:

Hans-Christoph Noack
Director of Corporate Communications Air Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 3434 1500
Fax: +49 30 3434 1509

Branche: Air Transport
ISIN: GB00B128C026
WKN: AB1000
Index: SDAX, Classic All Share, Prime All Share
Börsen: Frankfurt / regulated dealing/prime standard
Berlin / free trade
Hamburg / free trade
Stuttgart / free trade
Düsseldorf / free trade
München / free trade

Original content of: Air Berlin PLC, transmitted by news aktuell

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