Austrian Airlines

EANS-Adhoc: Austrian Airlines AG
Extreme fuel prices, financial crisis and slump in demand due to global downturn put strain on Annual Result 2008

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annual report

13.03.2009

Annual Result of the Austrian Airlines Group for Financial Year 2008

Summarising the position of the company over the past twelve months, Dr.  Peter Malanik, member of  the  Austrian  Executive  Board  today made  the  following statement:  "2008  was  an  extraordinarily   difficult  year  for  the  Austrian Airlines Group. While our prospects gave us good reason to be optimistic in  the early months of the year, the situation worsened rapidly  due  to  the  extremly high price of fuel, which was quickly followed by a dramatic fall in the  volume of bookings due to the world financial and economic crisis. With  the  signature of the contracts governing the sale to Deutsche Lufthansa AG  of  ÖIAG's  41.56% share in Austrian Airlines AG on 5 December 2008, an important  step  was  taken towards ensuring the long-term  future  of  the  Austrian  Airlines  Group.   The transaction remains subject to approval in accordance with the   Competition  and Funding Guidelines of the European Commission."

Dr.  Andreas  Bierwirth,  member  of  the  Austrian  Executive  Board said  the following about the Annual Result 2008: "The  business   trend  of  the  Austrian Airlines Group was decisively shaped in 2008 by the markedly  negative  economic environment around the world. Cripplingly high fuel prices and  rapidly  falling demand for flights due to the economic slump had an unmistakable impact  on  our result from the  fourth  quarter  onwards.  Despite  this  challenging   economic environment, we have stuck consistently to our Focus East   strategy,  continuing to expand our key markets in Central and Eastern Europe  and  the  Middle  East, introducing  the  innovative Premium  Service  into  the    Middle    East,    and implementing numerous improvements in our quality and service. In this  way,  we have succeeded in holding passenger volume relatively  stable  at   10.7  million passengers carried despite the challenging economic environment,  ensuring  that flight revenue, at EUR 2,361.0 million, was only slightly down on  the  previous year. Despite this, a number of factors - most notably the 31.5%  jump  in  fuel expenditure -produced a fall in our  EBIT  from  operating  activities,  to  EUR -312.1 million. The EBIT  adjusted  for  one-off  effects  stood  at EUR  -35.2 million, again below last year's figure. One-off effects not  having  an  effect on payment, the majority of  which  were   based  on  depreciation  of  aircraft, produced a significant burden totalling EUR  334.4  million.  Consequently,  the Group recorded an annual result after taxes of EUR - 429.5 million."

The two men went on to remark: "Even before the magnitude of the present  crisis became clear, we realised that countermeasures of an operational  nature  would not be sufficient. This is why we put together the most  fundamental  change  in strategy the company  has seen  in  recent  decades,  and  recommended  to  our majority shareholder ÖIAG that a privatisation process be instigated,  and   that the company be sold to a strategic partner."

@@start.t2@@An Overview of the Annual Result 2008

|Key Indicators                    |                 |2008        |2007        |+/- abs. |+/- %  |
|                                                          |                 |adjusted |

|Operating revenue                |EURm          |2,530.6  |2,550.9  |-20.3      |-0.8    |
|Operating expenses              |EURm          |-2,842.7 |-2,508.8 |-333.9    |-13.3  |
|EBITDAR                                |EURm          |256.9      |389.7      |-132.8    |-34.1  |
|EBITDAR adjusted1                |EURm          |295.4      |403.2      |-107.8    |-26.7  |
|Operating result2 (EBIT)    |EURm          |-312.1    |42.1        |-354.2    |-         |
|Operating result2 (EBIT)
adjusted3                              |EURm          |-35.2      |55.7        |-90.9      |-         |
|Financial result                 |EURm          |-32.5      |-53.2      |20.7        |38.9    |
|Result before tax                |EURm          |-334.4    |2.8         |-337.2    |-         |
|Result before tax adjusted3|EURm          |-77.7      |11.0        |-88.7      |-         |
|Net result                          |EURm          |-429.5    |3.3         |-432.8    |-         |
|Net result for the year
adjusted 4                            |EURm          |-76.8      |11.5        |-88.3      |-         |
|Net cash from operating
activities                            |EURm          |171.1      |276.7      |-105.6    |-38.2  |
|Net gearing                              |%          |365.0      |125.0      |              |          |
|Equity ratio                            |%            |11.7        |27.7        |              |          |
|Passengers carried total
(millions)                          |Passengers    |10.7        |10.8        |              |-1.1    |
|Passenger load factor
(scheduled services)                 |%            |74.4        |75.1        |              |-0.7 P |
|Cargo                                  |Tons          |142,624  |149,535  |              |-4.6    |

1) Adjusted by the gains/losses resulting from the disposal of assets, other costs arising from the transfer of aircraft and foreign currency adjustments at the balance sheet date. 2) Before inclusion of associated companies. 3) Adjusted by the gains/losses resulting from the disposal of assets, other costs arising from the transfer of aircraft and foreign currency adjustments at@@end@@

the balance sheet date, as well as impairment gains or losses in connection with the valuation of aircraft. 4) Adjusted by the gains/losses resulting from the disposal of assets, other costs arising from the transfer of aircraft and foreign currency adjustments at the balance sheet date, as well as impairment gains or losses in connection with the valuation of aircraft and depreciation of deferred taxes.

Please find further information concerning the disclosure according   to  §§  24 and 25 Media Act on www.austrian.com

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ots Originaltext: Austrian Airlines
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch

Further inquiry note:
Corporate Communictions:
Livia Dandrea-Böhm
Tel.: 051766-11231

Investor Relations
Thomas Krammer
Tel.: 051766-13311

Branche: Air Transport
ISIN:      AT0000620158
WKN:        875224
Index:    WBI, ATX Prime
Börsen:  Wiener Börse AG / official market



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