Air Arabia net profit declines 51%; Lonrho slumps; Kenya Airways only gainer

The majority of Middle Eastern and African carriers’ shares were down on Friday (07-pr-2010) as wider markets moved lower with global markets on concerns over debt issues in Europe.

In Africa, Lonrho (-7.7%) slumped, despite last week reporting a 25.4% year-on-year rise in turnover for the three months ended 31-Mar-2010. However, profit before tax was down to GBP1.8 million, compared with GBP2.2 million in the previous corresponding period.

1time Holdings (-0.9%) was also down, while Comair was flat, as the South African JSE Index dropped 3.6%.

Kenya Airways (+0.9%) was, meanwhile, the only gainer of the day, moving higher as Kenya’s All-Share Index (+0.4%) rose for a third consecutive day.

Despite Air Arabia's profit drop, CEO 'pleased' in present economic climate

In the Middle East, Air Arabia (-3.4%) after reporting a 51% year-on-year decline in net profit, to USD13.6 million, for the three months ended 31-Mar-2010. Revenue however rose 4%, to USD131.2 million.

Passenger numbers for the quarter rose 9.2%, to 1.0 million, while load factor was stable at 80%.

CEO, Adel Ali, stated that although the global financial downturn and rising fuel costs continue to affect the profitability of carriers, he is pleased with the LCC’s results.

Elsewhere, Kuwait National Airways (-3.9%) declined as the Kuwait Stock Exchange reached a weekly 10-month low after falling 2.5% for the week. Royal Jordanian (-3.8%) was also down.

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Selected African and Middle Eastern airlines share price movements (% change): 07-May-2010