Air Berlin flies back into profit
Germany's second-largest airline Air Berlin said Friday that it posted a profit last year for the first time in five years thanks to cost-cutting measures.
Air Berlin said in a statement it booked a net profit of 6.8 million euros ($9.0 million) in 2012 compared with a loss of 420.4 million euros a year earlier.
At an underlying level, too, the carrier flew back into the black, with operating profit before interest and tax (EBIT) amounting to 70.2 million euros compared with a year-earlier loss of 247 million euros.
Revenues grew by 1.9 percent to 4.31 billion euros while the number of passengers declined by 5.5 percent to 33.3 million.
The net profit figure "marks a return to profitability for the first time since 2007," said chief executive Wolfgang Prock-Schauer.
"We managed to accomplish this despite increased competition and the continued extremely challenging environment," he said.
"Nevertheless, we have not yet reached our target and are mindful that non-recurring events also contributed to the result," Prock-Schauer added.
The carrier calculated that cost-cutting and efficiency-boosting measures contributed 250 million euros to earnings, "which has helped to considerably offset an increase in fuel prices of 80 million euros," the statement said.
© 2013 AFP