Air New Zealand upbeat on earnings outlook

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Air New Zealand expects its full-year normalised earnings before tax to come in close to New Zealand dollars (NZ$) 260 million ($205 million).

"The Company has continued to perform soundly in stable market conditions and expects the FY13 Normalised Earnings before Tax to be at the upper end of the range provided in the April guidance," it said in a statement to the New Zealand stock exchange.

At the time, the Star Alliance carrier said that it expected the normalised earnings figure to come in between NZ$235-260 million - a major turnaround from the NZ$158 million operating profit it recorded in 2012.

The guidance includes provisions for a NZ$7.5 million settlement with the New Zealand Commerce Commission for the airline's role in an air cargo cartel. The fine is expected to be settled within weeks, it adds.

For the first half of the 2013 fiscal year, the airline more than doubled its profit to NZ$100 million for the six months ended 31 December 2012, which chairman John Palmer said was "the best interim profit result for five years."

ANZ chief executive Christopher Luxon said on the sidelines of the recent IATA AGM in Cape Town that the airline's longhaul operations, which dragged down earnings last year, were once again profitable, aided in part by the introduction of Boeing 777-300ERs in its US services.

The carrier operates a fleet of 46 aircraft and has orders for 10 Airbus A320s and 10 787-9s.