Austrian Airlines Results: Operating Loss in the First Half of 2012
- Adjusted operating result of minus EUR 55.2 million, but operating profit of EUR 26.6 million due to one-off effects
- Largest domestic airline still in the midst of restructuring
- Good passenger figures and restructuring progress are cause for optimism concerning sustainable earnings prospects
Following an operating result of minus EUR 63.1 million in the first half of 2011, Austrian Airlines reports an operating result of EUR 26.6 million in the first half of 2012. The main reason for the improvement is the one-off effects related to the transfer of flight operations to Tyrolean Airways. However, the adjusted operating result amounts to minus EUR 55.2 million excluding these one-off effects. Austrian Airlines CEO Jaan Albrecht says: ?Our restructuring program has already led to positive financial results in the first half-year. But we do not want to overestimate it. We are referring to one-off effects, and this does not comprise a turnaround. We still have a lot of work ahead of us.
In the first half of the year, Austrian Airlines implemented a package of measures in order to press ahead with the restructuring of the country?s largest airline. These measures include the harmonization of the medium-haul fleet, new contracts concluded with some 60 suppliers, measures to reduce site costs as well as the modernization of employment contracts. The conversion to Tyrolean, in which the entire flight operations are now bundled, took place effective July 1, 2012 as part of Austrian Airlines? reform efforts. Due to this move, automatic salary increases were eliminated and the system of retirement benefits was modernized.
“The financial result of the year 2012 will probably be positive due to one-off effects. Beginning with 2013 our goal is a sustainable profit?, explains Austrian Airlines CEO Jaan Albrecht.
Key figures in detail:
Total operating income of Austrian Airlines rose by 5.7 percent in the first half of 2012, climbing to EUR 1,079.6 million from the comparable figure of EUR 1,024.9 million in the first half of the previous year. The reported operating profit amounted to EUR 26.6 million as at June 30, 2012 (June 30, 2011: operating loss of minus EUR 63.1 million). The main reason underlying this positive development was one-off effects of EUR 81.8 million. This relates to expenditures for severance payments on the one hand, as well as income related to the future reduction of employee benefit obligations such as anniversary bonuses, severance and pension payments on the other hand. The adjusted operating result was minus EUR 55.2 million, an improvement of 13 percent from the prior-year level. The increase was primarily due to the improved load factor of the aircraft. Most of the measures to reduce costs will be effective in the second half year. The additional burden on the Group relating to fuel costs, fees and personnel costs totaled EUR 69 million in the first six months of 2012.
Good passenger figures in the first half-year give rise to optimism
In the first half of 2012, Austrian Airlines carried a total of 5.4 million passengers, corresponding to a rise of 6.7 percent. The load factor perceptibly improved, thus giving cause for optimism. The passenger load factor rose by 3.3 percentage points to 74 percent. Capacity as measured by available seat kilometers (ASK) was down by 1.6 percent, whereas the demand measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) climbed by 6.3 percent.
Austrian posted the strongest growth in passenger traffic in Europe, with the number of passengers carried by the airline rising by eight percent. In particular, the airline?s business in Eastern Europe was the decisive factor. Austrian Airlines generated the highest load factor with its long-haul routes, for which the passenger load factor amounted to 76.6 percent. In June, the passenger load factor on routes such as New York even totaled more than 90 percent.
At the reporting date of June 30, 2012, the number of staff employed by the Austrian Airlines Group including its fully consolidated subsidiaries was 6,686 employees (June 30, 2011: 6,898 employees).
Austrian Airlines achieved a top ranking in terms of reliability and punctuality, and continues to be among the most punctual airlines in all of Europe. In the months of January to May 2012 (June data is not yet available), Austrian Airlines was one of the top performers among 25 AEA (Association of European Airlines) airlines. The aircraft takeoff punctuality of 89.4 percent (2011: 89.3 percent) and arrival punctuality of 88.5 percent (2011: 88.0 percent) of Austrian Airlines was far superior to the European average. The reliability of Austrian Airlines corresponded to 99.3 percent.
Investments of more than EUR 80 million
Austrian Airlines will massively invest in product quality in the second half of 2012, budgeting total expenditures of more than EUR 80 million. Ten long-haul aircraft ? six Boeing 767 and four Boeing 777 planes ? will already be equipped with new seats in the Business Class and Economy Class in the fall/winter 2012/2013 season. The quality focus of Austrian Airlines was recently honored with two awards granted at the World Airline Awards, namely second in the world in the category ?Business Class Catering? and third place for its ?Signature Dish?.
Austrian Airlines is the country?s largest airline. It operates a worldwide network of flights and serves some 130 destinations. This network is especially tightly woven in Central and Eastern Europe. Its 44 destinations make Austrian Airlines the leader in this market. Austrian Airlines is based in Vienna. This airport profits from its location in the center of Europe. This location makes it the ideal hub for those traveling between East and West. Austrian Airlines is part of the Lufthansa Group, which is the largest carrier in Europe. AA is also member of the Star Alliance, the first world-spanning association of international carriers.
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