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Flybe remains profitable through the recession

Flybe has reported results for its financial year ended 31 March 2010, with a profit before tax of £6.8 million.

Turnover was essentially maintained during the year at £570.5 million compared with £572.4 million in FY2008/09. This year’s profit before tax – which excludes net exceptional, integration and restructuring charges of £1.1 million (which in 2008/09 cost £12.7 million) – was £6.8 million, down by 47% on 2008/09’s figure of £12.8 million. Profit before tax – and after exceptional, integration and restructuring items – was therefore £5.7 million, 57 times higher than the £0.1 million recorded in 2008/09 result.

EBITDAR (excluding net exceptional, integration and restructuring charges) was up 4.7% to £93.8 million from £89.6 million in 2008/09 and EBITDAR margin increased to 16.4% compare with 15.7% in the previous financial year.

Ancillary revenues per passenger increased by 15.9% to £11.98 per passenger from £10.34 per passenger. Meanwhile, the airline’s net debt was more than halved to £21.0 million from the £49.8 million at the end of FY2008/09.

Operationally during the year, the group gained considerable experience of operating in Continental Europe through the conclusion of a deal in August 2009 with Olympic Air in Greece to ‘start up’ the regional operations of the new Olympic Airline, removing all of Flybe’s surplus aircraft and crew costs for 2009/10.

Jim French, chairman and chief executive, commented, “I am delighted with the results we achieved for the year to 31 March 2010. Against a backdrop of the continued impact of the recession and the effects of extreme volatility in fuel prices, Flybe grew its market share to become Europe’s largest regional airline and the UK’s largest domestic airline whilst also being one of only three major European airlines that have reported profits throughout the recession.

“Flybe has a great cost-effective product which is underpinned by consistent delivery of industry leading punctuality. This success is based on fantastic staff, both in the air and on the ground, and a strong and stable management team, who together have implemented a focused strategy with great agility.”

Looking ahead, French added: “While the global economic outlook remains unclear, we remain optimistic that Flybe will continue to make strong progress during 2010/11.

“We have a proven business model and strategy, and supportive owners. We have continued to grow our market share in the UK and have announced a string of exciting business developments which will accelerate the roll-out of the Flybe proposition into continental Europe, and we possess the flexibility within our fleet to accomplish this expansion. Our brand, which is already well established in the UK, is increasingly well known in continental Europe and we continue to achieve operational efficiencies that significantly differentiate Flybe from other airlines.”

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