Air New Zealand has today announced a profit before unusuals and tax of $109 million for the six month period ending 31 December 2006, an increase of 35% ($28m) on the poor performance in the same period last year.
Net profit was $74 million, up 61% ($28m), and higher yields contributed to a 12% increase in operating revenue. Based on the airline's improved profitability and outlook, the Board has increased the interim dividend to 3 cents per share, or $32 million.
Air New Zealand Chairman John Palmer said the airline's progress in the first six months of the year was pleasing in the face of significant challenges like high fuel prices, a weaker New Zealand dollar and intense competition from other destinations.
"All our key metrics - including yield, passenger numbers, revenue, profitability and share price are up, despite significant external pressures," Mr Palmer said.
* Operating revenue rose 12% to $2,135 million with group passenger yields up 10.7%.
* Short-haul passenger revenue has increased 11% to $1,019 million with yields also up 8.9%.
* Long-haul passenger revenue increased 13% to $695 million, with yields up 12.7%.
* Cargo revenue up 20% due to the increased capacity offered by the new 777 and higher cargo yields.
* Additional cost savings of $63 million achieved, on track to achieve targeted cost savings of $130 million.
* Gearing as at 31 December 2006 is 46.7% at the lower end of our target range of 45 to 55%.
* Cash holdings remain above $1 billion despite repaying $140 million of debt early.