Air France-KLM picks up, cautions on political tensions

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Air France-KLM said Wednesday it did much better in its third quarter, reducing losses, but cautioned that recent bad weather and now political tensions in Africa were a concern.

It said that for the three months to December it incurred a net loss of 46 million euros, compared with a year-earlier loss of 295 million euros.

It had an operating profit of 81 million euros ($105 million) after an operating loss of 245 million euros, while sales jumped 13.9 percent from a year earlier to 5.9 billion euros.

The airline said its third quarter was marked by air traffic control stoppages in France and record snowfalls in Europe, with bad weather in North America adding to the problems.

At the same time, rising political tensions in several North African destinations -- Tunisia, Egypt, Ivory Coast -- would hit earnings in the fourth quarter, it said.

Accordingly, it said it continued to expect a positive operating result for its fourth quarter to March 2011 but this was likely to be below the 300 million euros estimate given in November.

The company insisted that despite the problems, it was making "considerable progress" after posting a record net loss of 1.28 billion euros in its year to March 2010.

© 2011 AFP

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