ANZ H1 net profit up 75% to NZ$98m

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Air New Zealand (ANZ) has posted a 75% surge in net profit to NZ$98 million ($73.3 million) for its fiscal first half ending 31 December 2010.

Operating revenue rose 9% to NZ$2.2 billion on the back of higher passenger numbers and cargo volumes, says the Star Alliance carrier.

Costs rose 10% to NZ$1.8 billion, it adds. "Overall Air New Zealand has had a strong six months. Passenger numbers, cargo volumes and yields have all increased year on year, with an increase in revenues of 9%. This has been offset by costs relating to increased capacity, increasing fuel prices and losses from foreign exchange hedges," says ANZ chairman John Palmer.

In terms of passenger traffic, RPKs for the six months grew 6%. Passenger numbers grew 8% to 6.8 million. Capacity, as measured in ASKs, rose 3%. The airline's passenger load factor rose 2.6 percentage points to 84.2%.

Commenting on the financial outlook for the rest of its fiscal year, ANZ says fuel price volatility remains "a significant risk".

"A key management focus will be assisting with the recovery from the devastating Christchurch earthquake and working with tourism partners to mitigate the economic effects," it adds.