Air France doubles profits despite fuel price rise

31st August 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 31, 2006 (AFP) - French-Dutch airline Air France-KLM said on Thursday it had doubled its net profit in the first quarter of its financial year despite an increase in fuel costs.

PARIS, Aug 31, 2006 (AFP) - French-Dutch airline Air France-KLM said on Thursday it had doubled its net profit in the first quarter of its financial year despite an increase in fuel costs.

The airline, which is the biggest in Europe by passenger numbers, reported net profit for the three months to the end of June of EUR 244 million from 112 million in the equivalent period of last year.

Sales rose by 11.9 percent to EUR 5.80 billion owing to "excellent activity levels with strong growth in unit revenues in both passenger and cargo".

The group also raised its outlook for full-year operating income.

"On the basis of the current robustness of both activity levels and unit revenues, and on condition that these trends persist, Air France-KLM's objective for the full year is to generate a significant increase in operating income compared to last year," the airline said.

In May, the outlook had been for a full-year operating income "of at least the same level" as the 936 million euros achieved in the financial year 2005-06.

Operating income in the first quarter improved to EUR 411 million from 223 million, with activity "dynamic" in both passenger and cargo business, the group said in a statement.

Fuel costs in the first-quarter rose to EUR 1 billion from EUR 809 million in the same period of last year.

Shares in the airline rose 2.08 percent to EUR 21.13 in late afternoon trading Thursday on the Paris CAC 40 exchange.

"The net profit was well above our forecasts," said a dealer at a major French brokerage.

He said this was due to strong passenger numbers, pricing and synergies with KLM, as well as efforts by the group to contain fuel costs.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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