LAN boosts cash in 4Q to $737 million

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Chilean airline group LAN ended the fourth quarter with an increased cash balance of $737 million, representing 16.3% of the last 12 month's revenues. The airline's cash balance totalled $587 million at the end of the third quarter.

LAN says it has no short term or long term debt related to fleet financing going forward.

The group reported a 49.9% increase in fourth quarter profits, posting a net income of $164.6 million as revenues grew from $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion..

LAN in late 2010 acquired Colombian carrier Aires, and holds an option to purchase proposed Colombian start-up AerOasis.

Additionally, LAN is working to complete its merger with Brazilian carrier TAM in six to nine months.