fastjet cuts losses in first half of 2015

fastjet has announced its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2015 (1H15) as well as operational highlights of 2015 to date.

During 1H15, fastjet Tanzania’s revenues rose to $31.5 million from 1H14’s $19.0 million, with a 7% increase in average revenue per passenger of $86.61 over 1H14’s $81.69. The company’s first-half losses before tax of $9.0 million were an improvement on 1H14’s equivalent result of $13.9 million.

For the whole of the fastjet Group, the operating loss before and after exceptionals was $12.8 million, compared with 1H14’s operating loss of $17.3 million before exceptionals and a 1H14 operating loss after exceptionals of $19.8 million. The closing net cash for 1H15 was $70.0 million, compared with $17.9 million at the end of 1H14.

Operationally, fastjet Tanzania had a 51% increase in aircraft utilisation (from 6.4 to 9.7 block hours per aircraft per day) in 1H15, creating a 56% increase in the total number of seats flown. Moreover, the airline peformed these flights with 94% punctuality (arrival earlier than or within 15 minutes of schedule).

With its legacy businesses, fastjet disposed of 100% of its holding in Fly 540 Ghana while the loss-making services of Fly 540 Angola remain suspended.

The fourth fastjet Tanzania aircraft and the first fastjet Zimbabwe aircraft (the fifth in the fastjet group fleet) were added in early September 2015, while the first owned aircraft was delivered on 25 September and is expected to be the first in the fastjet Zambia fleet.

Ed Winter, fastjet’s CEO, commented, “Using the same assets as in 1H14, three Airbus A319s, in 1H15, through better utilisation we increased the number of seats flown by 56%, total revenue increased by 66% and operating losses reduced by 26% – a great achievement.

“Since then, in 3Q15, we have doubled the size of the fleet to six and are well on our way to having three bases, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe fully operational by the end of the year. This expansion of the fleet and network is particularly important in laying the foundations for profitable growth in 2016, added Winter. “Whilst we have seen these very significant improvements, African currencies have lost considerable value against the US dollar, which combined with a worldwide reduction in commodity prices, has caused an economic downturn in both Tanzania and Zambia.

“In addition, the start of operations in Zambia and Zimbabwe has been delayed into 4Q15. Accordingly the Board has downgraded its forecast for full year 2015, but is confident of meeting its expectations for 2016,” Winter concluded

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