flybe profitable, targets further expansion; New CEO for Monarch

flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline and the UK’s largest domestic carrier, stated it was “one of only three major European airlines to report profits throughout the global recession” with the privately owned carrier gaining market share as others were more seriously affected by the global economic crisis.

The Exeter-based carrier reported a profit before tax of GBP6.8 million (a 57% year-on-year reduction) in the 12 months to Mar-2010, a profit before tax (after exceptional, integration and restructuring items) of GBP5.7 million (a notable increase from GBP0.1 million in 2008/2009) and an EBITDAR of GBP93.8 million (a 4.7% year-on-year increase for an EBITDAR margin of 16.4%).

The carrier plans to expand its scope of operations to Continental Western Europe announcing several landmark deals in Jul-2010 and Aug-2010, including a codeshare agreement with Air France. The regional carrier is also looking at potential acquisitions of regional airlines in Europe after weathering the economic storm. 

New CEO for Monarch

Non-listed Monarch Group appointed Conrad Clifford as its new Group Chief Executive Officer, to commence with the airline in Dec-2010. Mr Clifford has held senior positions at Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Nigeria and Emirates.

Cimber Sterling shares soar

Elsewhere shares in Cimber Sterling soared 26.1% yesterday. The carrier’s share price has varied significantly during 2010, but has gained over the past few weeks. 

The carrier last week reported improved losses at the operating and net level, of EUR1.3 million and EUR1.4 million respectively in 2Q2010, compared with losses of EUR3.4 million and EUR1.6 million in the previous corresponding periods, with revenues increasing 27% to EUR71 million and passenger numbers up 14% to 714,000. Also in the period, yields remained stable at EUR 11.55 cents, while RASK increased 1.8% to EUR 7.79 cents.

Looking forward, Cimber expects to report an operating loss of between EUR2.7 million and EUR10.7 million in FY2010/2011 on revenues of EUR269 million, with yields forecast at EUR 11.28 cents.

Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 20-Sep-2010