Iberia manages 11th straight year of profitable operations
Spanish airline Iberia closed 2006 with operating earnings (excluding non-recurring income and expenses) of 22 million euros, a 4.7 percent increase from the amount posted in 2005. (2/28/2007)
The EBITDAR generated for the full year was 790.5 million euros, up 13 percent from the level market in 2005. According to the company, earnings after tax reported by the airline (before the accounting adjustment of the value of the tax credit item), reached 116,1 million euros, 70.7 percent below the figure posted for 2005, which included income from the sale of Iberia’s stakes in Amadeus and Savia.
“The year 2006 was the eleventh consecutive year in which the Spanish airline group managed to turn a profit, even though some of these years were among the worst in the history of commercial aviation,” stated the company. “At the end of 2006 the Iberia Group balance sheet was very sound, with negative net debt of 1,722 million euros and a cash position of 2,453 million euros.”
The company carried a total of 27.8 million passengers in 2006 and the load factor increased by 2.7 points to 79.8 percent, which was a new record for Iberia and 2.1 points higher than the average for European scheduled airlines.
In the fourth quarter of, EBITDAR climbed by 36.2 percent to 214.7 million euros, and operating results reached 48.6 million euros, more than six times the operating profit posted in the same quarter of 2005.
This positive performance was due to a 4.1 percent rise in unit revenues, and to a substantial slowing of unit expenses growth, which rose by just one percent. If fuel is excluded from consideration, we observe a reduction in operating expenses of nearly three percent in the quarter. Net earnings, before the tax credit adjustment mentioned above, reached 49.8 million euros in the final quarter, in sharp contrast to the 5.8 million-euro loss posted in the same quarter of 2005,” stated the company.
Meanwhile, according to Reuters, Iberia hasn’t ruled out making acquisitions and that it had 1.6 billion euros ($2.11 billion) to spend. “(We’ve got) 1.6 billion. Obviously it’s a big enough warchest to allow us to think about acquisitions and in fact that’s something we don’t rule out,” Iberia Chairman Fernando Conte said.