Austrian Airlines

euro adhoc: Austrian Airlines AG
Strong Finish to Year Results in EBIT Plus of EUR 15 Million (E)

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Forecast result 2003 / Forecast 2004

The projection for the 2003 financial year of Austrian Airlines Group, as presented to the Supervisory Board on 10 December 2003, has forecast a positive result of around EUR 15 million. This renewed success is based upon the consistent cost reduction and improvement of overall efficiency, increasingly strong load factors since September based on a series of innovation offensives as well as positive currency management. Introduced in the autumn of 2003, the new product features a new, simplified and highly competitive pricing system, an expanded flight programme in the direction of Eastern and Central Europe and a modernised line of services. It was well accepted by the market and combined with the above-mentioned effects produced the change in trend.

"For the aviation industry, 2003 was characterised by numerous crises and was extremely difficult overall. We didn’t allow ourselves to be paralysed by the Iraq war or SARS outbreak. We reacted at speed in order to conceive and implement a range of innovations by the beginning of the second half-year. Through early counter-management on the costs and capacity side, and based on the implementation of our new marketing mix, we succeeded in turning round the result from autumn onwards with a strong finish to the year," was the analysis of Chief Executive Officer Vagn Soerensen, who went on to say: "Although with 8.5 million passengers we are slightly down on our figures for the previous year (8.8 million passengers), we will presumably be able to increase our average load factor for the year on scheduled services from 70.5 % to more than 71 %. To summarise: already in the fourth quarter of 2003 the Group was regaining significant strength and is in a markedly stronger position than a number of our industry competitors."

Outlook to 2004 For the financial year 2004, the Austrian Airlines Group is forecasting a result from operating activities (EBIT) of plus EUR 50 million. For 2004 hedging measures have been set for approximately 40 % of the annual demand of jetfuel. At approximately 9.4 million people, the Group plans to increase the number of passengers carried by 10.9 %. Expansion of the Group’s long-range services and on its routes feeding into Central and Eastern Europe will make the most significant contributions to this rise. Around 60 new frequencies to Central and Eastern Europe will be added from the beginning of the 2004 summer schedule, while direct flights will operate from Bratislava to Brussels, Paris and London from May onwards and new long-range services to Almaty, Shanghai and Singapore are planned to begin on a stepped basis between March and June 2004.

end of announcement            euro adhoc 11.12.2003

Further inquiry note: Konzernkommunikation: Johannes Davoras Johann Jurceka Tel.: 051766-1231

Investor Relations Karl Knezourek Tel.: 051766 - 3328

Branche: Air Transport
ISIN:      AT0000620158
WKN:        062015
Index:    ATX, ATX Prime, WBI
Börsen:  Wiener Börse AG / official dealing

Weitere Meldungen: Austrian Airlines

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