LATAM reports $8.5m net income in Q4

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LATAM Airlines Group has posted net income of $8.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The airline group posted total revenues of $3.48 billion during the fourth quarter, down 0.3% year-on-year. LATAM attributes the decline to a 0.7% fall in passenger revenues and a 3.1% decrease in cargo revenues, although this was partially offset by a 61.5% increase in other revenues.

Revenues were also hit by a switch to a new reservations system provided by Sabre for LAN, which LATAM estimates decreased revenue by about $25 million to $40 million, in September 2012.

LAN and TAM completed their merger in June 2012 to form LATAM, and the group says that it remains confident in its synergy target of between $600 million and $700 million, to be achieved by the fourth year after the merger, in June 2016.

The two airlines have fully integrated their cargo businesses, and have started work to integrate their frequent flyer programmes.

In 2012, LATAM recognised about $72 million in merger synergies before merger-related expenses. The group expects synergies of between $250 million and $300 million in 2013.

LATAM added six Airbus A320s, four Boeing 767-300s, two Boeing 777-300ERs, two Boeing 787-8s and one Boeing 777 freighter during the fourth quarter,