Air Berlin PLC & Co Luftverkehrs KG

EANS-News: airberlin increases third quarter profit

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Company Information/Financial Results Q3 2012

Subtitle: • airberlin shows improved operating result of more than EUR 100
million; net income more than doubles
• Higher revenue, increased capacity utilization, improved yield and successful
partnerships 
• External cost increases partially offset by efficiency-improvement program
• Etihad Airways relationship contributes approximately EUR 50 million revenues
in the year to date and significant cost savings; airlines continue to
investigate new opportunities
• Turbine 2013: Strategic reorientation and concentration on core competence
necessary for sustainably improving income in the coming year


Berlin (euro adhoc) - airberlin, Germany's second-largest airline company,
significantly improved its net income for the traditionally strong third
quarter, in comparison with the previous year. 
At the same time, it was able to offset strongly increasing external cost
through the successful efficiency-improvement program "Shape & Size", which will
lead to an improvement of EUR 230 million in operations this year. 

On the occasion of the presentation of the quarterly report, airberlin's Chief
Executive Officer, Hartmut Mehdorn, said: "We have improved our result. We were
able to increase revenue, improve capacity utilization and yield, and we were
able to reduce cost significantly. The journey is not complete, however we are
on the right track. Our target to return to profitability in the coming year
remains unchanged."

In the third quarter, airberlin was able to increase its net income to EUR 66.6
million (2011: EUR 30.2 million), an increase of more than 120 percent over the
corresponding quarter of the previous year. The operating result improved by 4.5
percent to EUR 101.2 million (EUR 96.8 million). Revenue increased by 1.4
percent over the previous year, to EUR 1,395.1 million (EUR 1,375.5 million),
despite a targeted capacity reduction of 5.4 percent. Capacity utilization
increased slightly by 0.4 percentage points to 84.54 percent (84.14 percent).
Yield (revenue per passenger) improved by 3.1 percent to EUR 115.84 (EUR
112.39). EBITDAR (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization
and leasing expenses) increased by 3.8 percent to EUR 279.5 million (EUR 269.3
million). Total equity at the end of the quarter amounted to EUR 186.3 million,
which corresponds to an equity ratio of eight percent.

airberlin recorded a continuing reduction of direct operating costs - excluding
fuel costs - as a result of  the "Shape & Size" program, which yielded a
contribution of EUR 70 million in the third quarter. Over this period, fuel
costs increased by EUR 35 million.

Further strategic development of the frequent-flyer program
Mehdorn said airberlin was looking at further strategic development of its
frequent-flyer program: "We have taken the decision to explore ways of
developing our frequent-flyer program topbonus. We have decided to migrate
topbonus into a new entity and sell the majority of it. This migration will
further enhance the attractiveness for the program and its more than three
million members and more than 120 partners."
 
Hartmut Mehdorn commented on the strategic logic as follows: "As an independent
company focusing on this line of business, and having a clear expansion goal,
topbonus will be able to reach its full potential."   

airberlin's Chief Financial Officer, Ulf Hüttmeyer, commented on the financial
aspects of the planned frequent-flyer joint venture, saying: "The transaction
will be concluded in the fourth quarter and will contribute to a significant
improvement of the earnings and balance sheet ratios for the year 2012."

Strategic partnership with Etihad Airways
Mehdorn also made reference to the strategic partnership with Etihad Airways
entered into just a year ago. "Our relationship with Etihad Airways has brought
strong benefits.  So far in 2012, it has delivered approximately EUR 50 million
in revenues, ahead of our initial estimates, and it is offering a wide range of
cost-saving opportunities.

"We are working together on joint fleet programmes, bringing in more efficient
aircraft, as well as on combined pilot and staff training," he said.  "These
benefits will just grow and grow as our partnership deepens."

Furthermore, the CEO is confirmed that airberlin's membership in the airline
alliance oneworld® brought considered benefits. The expansion of existing
codeshare agreements, in combination with the addition of new codeshare
agreements, such as for example those with Air France and KLM, will allow
airberlin to continuously gain new guests all over the world. 

Turbine 2013 necessary for sustainably improving income
Moreover, Mehdorn stated that the general environment continues to be saddled
with high fuel cost, the aviation tax, the burden of the postponement of the
opening of the new Berlin airport (BER), a weakening euro, and dim economic
prospects: "We have come to the conclusion that we need to implement an
additional turn-around program, Turbine 2013. With Turbine 2013 we concentrate
fully on our core competences. Only in this manner, will we be able to further
improve our operating performance in this negative environment and to
sustainably be in the black from next year onwards," stated Hartmut Mehdorn.  

Q3 Results:


                      Q3 2012         Q3 2011         Variance
Revenue             EUR1,395.1m      EUR1,375.5m       +1.4%
EBITDAR               EUR279.5m        EUR269.3m       +3.8%
Operating profit      EUR101.2m         EUR96.8m       +4.5%
Net profit             EUR66.6m         EUR30.2m     +120.5%
Capacity utilization      84.54%          84.14%      +0.4 Percentagepoints
Yield                  EUR115.84       EUR112.39       +3.1%
Passengers carried    10,693,441      11,252,325       -5.0%
Aircraft                     158             170       -7,1%
Destinations                 170             171          -1


Further inquiry note:
Uwe Berlinghoff
Senior Vice President Communications
Tel.: +49 (0)30/3434-1500
E-Mail: abpresse@airberlin.com

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 
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company:     Air Berlin PLC
             The Hour House, High Street 32
             UK-WD3 1ER Rickmansworth, Herts
phone:       +49 (0)30 3434 1500
FAX:         +49 (0)30/3434-1509
mail:     abpresse@airberlin.com
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sector:      Air Transport
ISIN:        GB00B128C026
indexes:     SDAX, Classic All Share, Prime All Share
stockmarkets: free trade: Berlin, München, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, free trade/Bondm:
             Stuttgart, regulated dealing/prime standard: Frankfurt 
language:   English
 



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