3Q operating profit increase for Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus Group has released an unaudited interim management statement for the third quarter of the its financial year, 1 July to 30 September 2010.

The airline reported a strong performance in 3Q10 with yield per passenger up 12.5%. Operating profit was up 35.4% to €79.2 million, taking the year-to-date operating profit of €60.2 million (compared with a loss in the first three-quarters of 2009 of €34.4 million).

The company says that strong trading in 3Q10 was primarily attributable to a continuation of passenger yield improvements achieved in 2Q10 combined with a significantly increased load factor in the long-haul business. Yield growth has been supported by changes in consumer behaviour with a trend towards later bookings.

Revenue in 3Q10 increased by 5.5% compared to 3Q09 despite an 11.7% reduction in capacity mainly attributable to planned reductions in transatlantic and Gatwick services. Average yield per passenger and load factor increased by 12.5% and 3.0 percentage points, respectively.

Total operating expenses remained broadly flat in 3Q10 compared with the prior year. Fuel costs increased by 1.1% compared to 2009.

Quarterly staff costs declined by 19.6% as a result of the Greenfield initiative and the flow-through of savings from earlier cost reduction programmes.

The increase in other operating costs compared to prior year reflects higher airport charges, project and other costs but also includes higher depreciation charges than 2009 relating to property and aircraft cabin fit out, the airline commented.

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