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Air France-KLM makes third quarter profit gains

Air France-KLM improved group operating profits by more than a quarter to reach €506 million ($655 million) for the three months ending September 2012.

The figure marks an improvement on the €397 million profit recorded in the third quarter last year and the SkyTeam group has left unchanged its target of outperforming last year's second half operating profit. Net profits for the quarter jumped from €14 million in the third quarter last year to €306 million.

The profit is based on a 6% increase in revenues to €7.2 billion for the third quarter, as improved yields and currency effects helped drive improved profitability of its passenger business. Losses though deepened at its cargo business despite it cutting capacity.

Group operating costs increased 4.5% to reach €6.7 billion, but only fractionally excluding fuel as the group says its Transform 2015 restructuring programme is already starting to have an impact on its cost base.

For the first nine-months Air France-KLM group operating losses are roughly unchanged at €157 million, but net losses are sharply higher at €957 million after heavy one-off restructuring costs.

The airline has left its full year outlook unchanged, keeping its target of improving on the €195 million operating profit it made in the second half of last year and cutting net debt.

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