Air Berlin PLC

EANS-News: Air Berlin PLC
Air Berlin increases profit

Hunold: More than pleased with the profit, Increased revenue per passenger and per seat kilometer

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9-month report/Q3-figures 2009

Subtitle: Hunold: More than pleased with the profit, Increased revenue per passenger and per seat kilometer

London/Berlin (euro adhoc) - In the third quarter of 2009, Air Berlin PLC increased its net profit to EUR 95.2 million, i.e. an increase of 111 percent over the previous year's quarter. Despite a challenging economic environment, operating profit improved by 33.5 percent to EUR 118 million. Revenue decreased by 8.2 percent to EUR 974 million, due to targeted capacity adjustments based on lower demand. As Joachim Hunold, CEO of Air Berlin, stated: "Air Berlin is one of the few airline companies that was able to improve profit in the third quarter of 2009."

The "Jump" efficiency improvement program introduced in 2008 and consistently adhered to in 2009 contributed significantly to the good results obtained in the third quarter. Although the number of passengers transported decreased slightly to 8.3 million (-4.1 percent) as a result of the financial and economic crisis, Air Berlin's capacity adjustments enabled the company to counter the effects of this decrease and show a good performance. This is all the more remarkable in that the third quarter results were burdened by three days of strike. Furthermore, the bomb attack on the island of Majorca in July and the discussion surrounding the swine flu temporarily dampened demand for this destination.

Revenue per passenger kilometer increased from 7.65 to 8.24 Eurocents, i.e. an increase of 7.7 percent. EBITDAR (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and leasing expenses) for the quarter under review reached EUR 228.7 million (Q3/2008: EUR 209 million). EBIT (Earnings before interest and taxes) increased by 33.5 percent to EUR 118 million (Q3/2008: EUR 88.4 million). The financial results have been affected by proceeds from payments on a convertible bond, amounting to approximately EUR 20 million. Furthermore, foreign exchange losses were lower than in 2008. As a result, the financial results significantly improved from EUR -15 million in 2008 to EUR 3.2 million. Net profit for the third quarter of 2009 reached EUR 95.2 million (Q3/2008: EUR 45.1 million). The previous year's figures have been restated in accordance with valuation changes under IFRIC 13 ("Customer Loyalty Programmes").

The accumulated earnings for the first nine months of 2009 developed in a positive manner. For the period from January to September 2009, EBITDAR increased by 2.6 percent to EUR 390.7 million. At the end of the third quarter 2009, EBIT improved by 49.4 percent to EUR 48.3 million. The decrease in leasing expenses is one of the reasons for this improvement. Whereas net profit for the first nine months of 2008 amounted to EUR -7.1 million, net profit rose to EUR 13.8 million (+294 percent) for the 2009 period under review. For the first nine months of 2009, the number of passengers welcomed on board decreased by 5.1 percent to 21 million. Capacity utilization decreased by 1.3 percentage points to 77.9 percent, due to the capacity adjustment.

In the first nine months of 2009, Air Berlin's balance sheet structure improved in a sustainable manner. Equity increased from 15 to 22 percent and liquidity improved from 11 to 18 percent. The improvement in liquidity stems from operations as well as from the implemented capital measures. The capital increase, the placement of a new convertible bond and the partial redemption of an existing convertible bond have resulted in a considerable decrease in net indebtedness. From the beginning of January to the end of September 2009, net indebtedness decreased from EUR 762 million to EUR 548 million. Thus, the promise to lower net indebtedness to EUR 600 million by the end of the year has already been more than fulfilled.

On the occasion of the presentation of the quarterly figures, Joachim Hunold, CEO of Air Berlin, stated in Berlin on Thursday: "We are more than pleased with the results. Despite the generally difficult economic environment, we have delivered attractive figures to our shareholders. We continue to expect a positive operating income for 2009." Nevertheless, it is still too early to make a forecast for the year 2010, due to the persistently challenging economic situation.

end of announcement                               euro adhoc

Further inquiry note:

Hans-Christoph Noack
Director of Corporate Communications, Air Berlin
phone: +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 von: Air Berlin PLC, übermittelt durch news aktuell

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