Air Berlin reduces 1Q loss

Air Berlin has reported its 2010 first quarter finances in which, despite the harsh winter, seasonal operating loss (EBIT) improved to –€98.6 million from –€107.6 million in the first quarter of 2009.

Revenue was adversely affected by airport closures related to the weather conditions and decreased by 3.3% to €690.9 million in 1Q10 from €714.2 million in 1Q09. At 8.5 eurocents, total revenue per passenger kilometre (RRPK) improved slightly. Air Berlin was able to increase the number of passengers carried to 6.2 million, up by 2.4% on 1Q09.

For 1Q10, EBITDAR (earnings before interest, leasing expenses, depreciation, amortisation, interest and taxes) rose from €30.2 million in 1Q09 to €44.1 million, an increase of 46%, despite the additional expenses related to the weather conditions, including airport closures, airport taxes, navigation, de-icing and personnel.

The result from operating activities (EBIT) reached €–98.6 million, as compared to €–87.3 million in 2009. Pre-tax earnings amounted to €–125.5 million, Q109 earnings having been €–118.6 million (pro-forma: €–139.0 million).

"Like other airline companies, Air Berlin has felt the economic consequences of the exceptionally harsh winter. Nevertheless, our company managed to improve earnings,” commented Joachim Hunold, CEO of Air Berlin. “We are currently experiencing an increase in demand for intra-European flights on the network which Air Berlin has expanded via the integration of the TUIfly connections."

As a result of the 5% increase in capacity, the load factor declined to 70.8%, a drop of 0.8 percentage points.

For the quarter under review, Air Berlin was able to decrease corporate expenditures by 4% to €793.6 million from €826.7 million in 1Q09. Due to the growth of Air Berlin’s fleet, the associated expenditures for the first quarter of 2010 increased by 3.5% to €142.7 million.

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