Flybe returns to profitability

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European regional operation Flybe Group made an adjusted pre-tax profit of £1.7 million ($2.8 million) in the year ended 31 March, reversing a £23.6 million loss the year before.

The adjustments strip out net restructuring and surplus capacity costs”, which fell to £1.9 million compared with £12.8 million the year before, and a gain of £8.3 million from revaluation of aircraft loans, reversing a £4.7 million loss from same.

Revenue rose 11% to £868 million, which UK-based Flybe says was driven by a “significant growth” of its white-label operations in Finland.

Costs across the group fell 3.3% excluding restructuring costs to £620 million.

A net debt of £66.3 million a year before was transformed into a £117 million cash reserve. Flybe says it took several cash-generation measures during the year, including completion of the sale of its London Gatwick slots to EasyJet for £20 million and deferral of 16 Embraer 175 deliveries from 2014/15 to 2017-19.

A turnaround plan brought cost savings of £47 million, says Flybe. It expects to cut £71 million from costs in the coming financial year.

Revenues from its Flybe Finland joint venture with Finnair increased 48% to £248 million, but the unit incurred a pre-tax loss of £1 million.

UK scheduled passenger numbers increased 6.9% to 7.7 million, and load factors rose 5.4 percentage points to 69.5% as capacity cuts brought a 1.4% drop in seats flown, to 11.1 million.