Aer Lingus back in profit in 2010

Aer Lingus Group has announced its unaudited preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2010 including a return to profit.

The company’s operating profit before exceptional items in 2010 was €57.6 million, compared with a loss of €81.0 million in 2009. The profit before tax in 2010 came in at €30.4 million, a considerable improvement on 2009’s loss before tax of €154.8 million.

Revenue showed a 0.8% increase at €1,215.6 million, compared with €1,205.7 million in 2009, while operating costs fell by 10.0% to €1,158.0 million from 2009’s figure of €1,286.7 million.

The airline still regards 2010 as a difficult year, with Dublin Airport passengers declining, plus the impact of ash and weather disruptions. Ancillary revenue per passenger, however, was up 5.5% at €17.67 compared to 2009’s result.

The group maintained a strong balance sheet with year-end gross cash of €885.0 million compared to €828.5 million at 31 December 2009.

Christoph Mueller, Aer Lingus’s CEO (pictured) commented, “Aer Lingus generated a positive operating result of €57.6 million in 2010. This result represents a swing in profitability of €138.6 million compared to 2009 and has been achieved despite adverse economic conditions in our core Irish market and significant operational challenges caused by volcanic ash and weather related disruptions in 2010.

“We expect significant challenges in 2011, with trading for the year likely to be impacted by fuel price inflation and increased airport charges in combination with difficult conditions in our home market,” Mueller added. “We do not expect that improvements in yield performance and ongoing cost savings can offset these increased costs. If current fuel prices persist, we expect that 2011 operating profit will be significantly below that of 2010.”

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