Gol aims for Q1 operating profit after two years of losses

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Brazilian low-cost carrier Gol is projecting an operating profit for the first quarter of 2013, as it aims to be profitable this year following two years of net losses.

The airline's chief executive Paulo Sérgio Kakinoff says in an earnings call today that the carrier is forecasting an earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) margin of between 1% and 3% in 2013.

Gol reported a 1.51 billion Brazilian reals ($753 million) net loss in 2012, after posting R$752 million in net losses in 2011. In 2010, it had reported a net profit of R$214 million.

The airline is assuming a 2.5% to 3.5% growth in Brazil's GDP in its 2013 forecast. The carrier estimates that revenue per available seat kilometre will grow by 10% or more in 2013.

Cost per available seat kilometre is expected to come in at between 9.7 and 10.3 Brazilian real cents.

The airline has said it aims to cut domestic capacity by about 7% in 2013 as it focuses on rationalising ASKs to return to profitability. Gol executives declined to provide guidance for international capacity in today's call.