KENYA AIRWAYS HAS taken another step towards its privatisation after producing better-than-expected profits for the latest financial year.
The airline revealed a net profit of $17 million on sales of $173 million for its year to March 1995, easily beating earlier forecasts of $14 million. In 1993/4, the Kenyan carrier had shown a net profit of $7 million, the first since it was founded in 1977.
Managing director Brian Davies, who was recruited three years ago to help turn the carrier around, points out that the 10% net profit margin is now one of the highest in the airline industry.
The airline has also paid back $20 billion of borrowings out of its own resources, on top of the $120 million of debt taken over by the Kenyan Government earlier this year as a prelude to the airline's privatisation.
A statement from the airline's board says that the latest financial results "...clearly demonstrate that Kenya Airways is now financially viable and requires no further Government support".
Kenya has already requested interested foreign airlines to submit partnership proposals, with the offer of a stake of around 20%. South African Airlines has publicly confirmed its interest in partnering the carrier, while British Airways and Lufthansa of Germany are also expected to join in the bidding.