British Airways surges with release of first half financials
Shares in British Airways surged 6.7% on Friday, upon the release of the carrier’s financial results for the six months ended 30-Sep-2009.
BA generated an operating loss of GBP111 million in the first half, compared to a GBP140 million profit in the previous corresponding period. Total costs rose 8.7% year-on-year, while revenue dropped 13.7% year-on-year in the period on a 2.8% year-on-year reduction in passenger numbers and 12.2% year-on-year reduction in revenue per RPK.
However, BA stated demand may be starting to recover, and volumes and yields appear to have stabilised, after Premium traffic fell only 1.4% year-on-year in Oct-2009, compared to 7.9% in Sep-2009. CEO, Willie Walsh stated revenues are likely to be GBP1 billion lower year-on-year in 2009 as a result, after reporting a loss before tax of GBP292 million for 1H2009/10. See separate report - British Airways biggest loss sends shares up as a glimmer of hope appears; “Permanent changes” ahead
BA now plans to cut 3,000 more jobs, in addition to the 1,900 already cut, and to cut capacity by 6% during its Winter 2009/10 schedule. BA also plans to defer the delivery of its six A380 aircraft by one year, to 2013-2016.
In BA consolidation news, Mr Walsh stated he remains confident the carrier will be able to reach a merger deal with Iberia before the end of the year. Mr Walsh added he is also confident the carrier’s proposed trans-Atlantic alliance with Iberia American Airlines will be approved by the US Department of Transport. Shares in Iberia gained 4.8% on Friday.
Aer Lingus gains as traffic stabilises
Aer Lingus’ shares rose 3.3% on Friday, on the release of the carrier’s traffic highlights for Oct-2009. The Irish carrier stabilised a decline in passenger traffic, with total passenger numbers down just 0.2% year-on-year. However, long-haul traffic declined 25.7% year-on-year in Oct-2009. Aer Lingus increased its load factor by 1.3 ppts to 74.6% for Oct-2009.
SAS shares dip on yield reduction
Shares in SAS dipped 1.3% on Friday, as the carrier announced passenger yields for Scandinavian Airlines dropped 9.4% year-on-year in Oct-2009. The Group’s passenger numbers also suffered, down 11.1% year-on-year, while Scandinavian Airlines’ passenger numbers decreased 12.3% year-on-year in Oct-2009. However, Scandinavian Airlines' passenger load factor increased 4.8 ppts to 85.4%, while the group reached a load factor of 74.3% in Oct-2009, up 4.3% year-on-year. SAS stated the “market continues to be unpredictable and the uncertainty regarding the timing of the recovery is considerable”.
In other European finance news, Alitalia reported an operating profit of EUR15 million, compared to a EUR210 million loss in the previous corresponding period. Meanwhile, Icelandair announced it has postponed the release of its 3Q2009 financial results to Dec-2009. The carrier added revenue for the period increased 29% year-on-year while EBITDA rose 35.5%.
Norwegian meanwhile shed 7.1% on the day.
Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 06-Nov-09