LATAM grows Q1 operating profit to $114m

Washington DC
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LATAM Airlines Group more than doubled its first quarter operating profit to $114 million, up from $45.7 million a year ago.

Operating revenue rose 1.5% to $3.41 billion, and expenses declined 0.6% to $3.29 billion, says the airline.

The group narrowed its net profit by 48.9% to $42.7 million, mainly due to a foreign exchange gain of $133 million recognised at TAM in the corresponding first quarter of 2012.

LAN and TAM completed their merger in mid-2012, and the group says it is on track to achieve its synergies target of between $600 million and $700 million by the fourth year upon the merger, or June 2016.

The group expects synergies of between $250 million and $300 million during 2013.

Group passenger traffic grew 6.1% year-on-year and capacity rose 4%. The passenger load factor grew 1.5 percentage point to 78.8%.

Revenue per available seat kilometre declined 2.4% to 8.3 cents while yields declined 4.3% to 10.5 cents, says LATAM.

The group received five Airbus A320 family aircraft and one Boeing 767-300 during the first quarter. It returned one A320-200 and sold two Airbus A318s. LATAM ended the quarter with a total fleet of 332 aircraft.