Air Arabia sees revenues and profits strengthen in 2012

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Middle Eastern low-cost carrier Air Arabia increased net profits 55% in 2012 as revenues jumped more than a fifth.

The Sharjah, UAE-based airline generated a turnover of AED2.9 billion ($789 million), up 21% over the full-year result of 2011.

Passengers numbers increased 13% to around 5.3 million, while it grew net profit 55% to AED 425 million, says the carrier.

Load factor stood 82% for the full year.

During the fourth quarter 2012, Air Arabia generated revenues of AED755 million - up 18% over the same period in 2011 - while net profit increased 6% to AED 83 million.

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, the airline's chairman, says the business growth was due to the company's "concerted efforts to enter into new markets and launch new ventures" and that the expansion plans would be continued in future.

The single-type Airbus A320 operator introduced six new aircraft into its fleet in 2012 and expects another six this year.

The current fleet comprises 33 aircraft, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database.

Air Arabia plans to issue a 7% dividend of its capital, which translates to seven fils per share.