Kenya Airways stays profitable but full-year margins halve

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Kenya Airways' full-year operating profit more than halved, to KShs1.8 billion ($22 million), for the 12 months to 31 March 2010.

The carrier's revenues for the year were slightly down, to KShs70.7 billion, while total expenditure rose marginally. Fuel expenditure, exclusing hedge costs, fell by nearly a quarter.

Kenya Airways' operating margin was cut to just 2.6% from 5.6% in the previous year.

But the carrier nevertheless claimed a pre-tax profit of KShs2.7 billion, against a loss of KShs5.7 billion in 2008-09.

The airline says its growth was "restricted by the economic meltdown" in the first half of the year, and by a strike in the August peak period.

Passenger traffic remained flat, it states, but the opening of new destinations over the year increased capacity by 6.7%.