Spain's Vueling posts 66% increase in full-year net profit

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Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling has reported a full-year net profit of €46 million ($63.1 million) for 2010, a 66% improvement over the previous year.

The carrier's earnings before interest and tax for the 12-month period ended 31 December fell 16% to €60.1 million.

Revenues were up 32% to €796.5 million and Vueling's net cash position at the end of the year stood at €207 million.

The carrier's results for last year are compared with 2009, when for the first six months of the year Vueling was a standalone carrier. The second half of 2009 included figures from Clickair, following the merger of the two airlines.

Full-year capacity increased by 33% to 13.6 million available seat kilometres (ASKs) on a 32% rise in traffic to 9.9 million revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs). Load factor dropped one percentage point to 73% while passenger numbers grew 35% to 11 million.

For the fourth quarter of 2010, Vueling incurred a €4.4 million net loss, a 66% improvement over the same three-month period in 2009. Revenue during this period increased by 4% to €167 million.

Vueling plans to increase passenger numbers by 15% in 2011. The carrier expects higher fuel costs this year, but says these will be partially offset by its ongoing cost reduction plan.